Welcome to the fifth edition of the Floorish newsletter dedicated to providing you with insightful data, ideas and views on diversity, equity and inclusion. In this newsletter, taking no more than 3 minutes of your time, I aim to keep you informed and inspired with thought-provoking content, practical tips and inspiring stories.
Even if you haven’t heard of the term Employee Resource Group (ERG) before, you might have come across networks for underrepresented groups in your organisation. These networks are usually voluntary and consist of employees who share traits such as their gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual identity, carer responsibilities or interests.
ERGs have originally been created to provide a safe space and community for underrepresented groups. It can be exhausting and disheartening for employees to go through a workday constantly navigating a culture in which they are in the minority and have to adjust to the dominant ethos.
In recent years, professionalised ERGs have aligned their activities to core business goals and are positively influencing results in sales, services, marketing, branding, recruitment, retention and corporate responsibility.
Read more in this blog in which l dive deep into Employee Resource Groups and their: Evolution, 3 Benefits, 5 Leadership Roles, 8 Engagement Methods, 4 Needs, 8 Metrics and 6 Trends
The perspectives of Gen Z and Millennials towards diversity, equity and inclusion employee networks:
1. Embracing diversity
They tend to be more accepting of diverse identities, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and more. They value diversity as a strength and recognise the importance of fostering inclusive environments in the workplace. Also, they are more attuned to the concept of intersectionality, recognising that individuals have multiple identities and experiences that can intersect and impact their lives differently. Employee networks that acknowledge and address intersectionality are valued by them.
2. Engaging transparently
They appreciate transparency from companies regarding their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. They prefer open communication about progress, challenges, and future goals. As digital natives, younger generations often prefer using technology and social media platforms to connect and engage with employee networks. Online platforms allow them to share their experiences, learn from others, and collaborate on initiatives in virtual spaces.
3. Calling for action
They are not only looking for lip service when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion but also demand tangible action and measurable results. They expect companies to take meaningful steps to promote diversity and inclusivity and hold organisations accountable for their commitments. They value a diverse representation in leadership roles.
Creating and maintaining a safe space for everyone is not something we can take for granted. It requires effort from those who have helped build these spaces, as well as vigilance to prevent their destruction.
Unfortunately, in recent times, it seems that certain rights earned by underrepresented groups are being stripped away. Companies that used to openly express their support for these rights now face greater risks for doing so.
As a member of multiple underrepresented groups, this situation fills me with fear and leaves me questioning the future. Will companies continue to speak up? Will they remain safe havens where individuals can truly be themselves?
While I don’t have all the answers, one thing is clear: this makes it even more crucial for company leaders and influential employees to raise their voices, take action, and implement impactful policies for those who need them the most. By doing so, they can create not only a safe and positive work environment but also an attractive workplace for the new generation.
I hope these insights have sparked your curiosity and I invite you to share any data, ideas or views you believe should be highlighted in future newsletters. Stay tuned for the next edition.
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