Women’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) play an important role in creating a safe, positive, welcoming workplace culture for women employees.
We suggested 8 ways to increase engagement within Women’s ERGs and now are adding 7 more ways to that list which are given below.
1. Highlight Women-Friendly Policies
Survey women employees to understand the gaps in policies they would like to see bridged. Undertake an industry benchmarking activity to compare your organization’s existing policies to evaluate where your organization can create equity in policy. Introduce and communicate options such as extended family leave, menstrual leave, adoption leave, flexible work policy, and fertility treatment coverage under insurance among the community.
2. Create and Celebrate Women’s History
Create awareness about the contribution of women throughout history through dedicated communication campaigns. Share stories of the challenges they faced to be pioneers in various men-only industries. Recognize the strides made by women of color to fight multiple layers of prejudice to create pathways for generations to come.
3. Educate Men
Men are often unaware of the unconscious gender bias faced by women in a corporate environment. Women leaders are 2x as likely as men leaders to be mistaken for someone more junior, and 37% of women leaders have had a coworker get credit for their ideas (compared to 27% of men leaders). Moreover, microaggressions such as talking over women employees in meetings, and assigning them housekeeping tasks such as taking notes or arranging for food are sad realities. Educating men by conducting unconscious bias awareness events can help the workplace become more equitable and create male allies for women in the organization.
4. Pledge Pay Equity
Ensure that your organization has pay equity. Conduct internal audits to correct the patterns, if needed. Pledge your allegiance to pay equity by getting senior leadership to share their commitment to the cause. Encourage ERG members to post about how equitable your organization is on social media to influence other companies and become an employer of choice.
5. Celebrate Intersectionality
Minorities within the sub-group of women have varied experiences at the workplace . Women belonging to the LGBTQ+ community; women with disabilities; and women in the Asian, Black, and Hispanic community, as well as other women of color, face different types of prejudices at work. Give them an opportunity to voice their opinions and inform and educate the larger community. Recognize and celebrate the intersectionality within this community.
6. Champion Peer Recognition
Everyone would like to be valued at their workplace. Begin a women-focused peer recognition activity using in-built recognition modules available in ERG platforms. Encourage ERG members to share words of appreciation for their women colleagues.
7. Gift Care Packages
Partner with women-owned businesses and nonprofits to create a care package for your female employees. Personal care items, wellness items, office supplies, books, etc. can be part of these packages. They can also be better customized according to the needs of the employees. Information about the women-led businesses contributing to the care packages should also be shared to boost their sales.
Women’s ERGs are a vital part of the internal communities at workplaces and need to be nurtured through engagement activities.