Employee resource groups (ERG), affinity groups, business networking and diversity councils have helped unite likeminded tribes of people throughout the workplace for more than 30 years. ERGs are aligned with one clear focus in mind: fostering diversity and inclusion so that employees can show up with their whole selves to work and not just a fraction that is acceptable to most.
Mogul's first International ERG Day occurred on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, and consisted of a panel of professionals conversing over three-and-a-half hours to share their inspiring tales of success over adversity and triumph over past traumas.
The first session covered the value of ERGs from their start-up in the 1960s by Xerox CEO Joseph Wilson to present day. ERGs were created in direct response to the race riots in 1964. The panel portion of the session was moderated by Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant, Author and Executive Coach Farzana Nayani. Speakers included Stanley Black & Decker Global Employee Resource Group Manager Christen Smiley, Netflix and Pride@ Co-Chair Tanner Alvarez, and Cushman & Wakefield Military and Veteran Program Chairman Matt Disher.
A lively conversation followed in the next session regarding why ERGs should be incorporated into every company's DEI hiring strategy and instruction on how to leverage ERGs during the hiring process in order to build the team of tomorrow. Moderated by Mogul Head of Global People Operations Morgan Smillie, speakers included Dai Marie Strong, Global Head of Talent Operations, Programs and Early Career at Cisco Meraki, IHS Market Associate Director Recruitment Team Lead Blaine Sinclair and Western Union Talent Acquisition Manager Yolanda Larkin.
The next session centered on the creation and launch of ERGs in the company structure. Speakers shared why building an employee resource group from the ground-up can be a rewarding contribution to the evolution of the workplace and can create lasting impact for decades. Experts weighed in on strategies for obtaining buy-in from stakeholders and the best practices for future success and scale. Snap Inc. ERG & DEI Engagement Specialist Sophia Romero was joined in conversation by Instacart Asians@ Co-Founder Joy Zhu.
A plan is only as good as the metrics obtained on measuring impact, right? The last session of the day was about resources to push initiatives forward, especially when it pertains to a DEI hiring strategy. The day concluded with a moderated discussion by Mogul Global People Operations Manager Victoria Hortman and panelists Tawanda Starms, VP of Talent and Culture, Chipotle Mexican Grill; Jossie Haines, VP of Engineering, Head of DEI at Tile; and Dana Duman, Global Head of Talent Acquisition Enablement, Technology, and Agile Recruiting for Western Union.