8 ways to increase engagement within Women’s ERGs
March is celebrated as Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March every year. Women’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or Employee Networks (EN), as they are known in some organizations, are a must have.
Whether your organization has just launched a Women’s ERG, or if they have been flourishing for decades, maintaining engagement within an ERG is always challenging. Here are 8 ways to engage with your Women’s ERG members.
1. Be Inclusive
Ensure your Women’s ERG is open for all who identify as women. Create awareness about the transgender community and encourage open discussions. Request transgender employees to share their journeys with other ERG members. Create a safe space for all using dialogue.
2. Design Mentoring Programs
The challenges faced by women at the workplace are unique. Empathy and guidance from fellow female colleagues can go a long way. Designing mentoring programs where both the mentor and mentee are women, or identify as women, is a great way to engage with and build the confidence of women. Mentoring program software simplifies this process and enables smart matching with the help of algorithms. Mentors and mentees can be matched using various criteria such as location, titles, teams, personality types, language, ages, and much more. Mentors and mentees can be matched across the globe to build cultural awareness and influence styles of working to break the glass ceiling worldwide.
3. Conduct Workshops
Conducting workshops for women at the workplace is a fun and informative way of engaging your employees. Workshops on self-defense, leadership skills, coding, public speaking, and self-care are empowering. Conduct surveys within your ERGs to gauge the topics your audience is interested in to organize relevant workshops that will articulate more attendance.
4. Launch Support Initiatives
The everyday obstacles that women face in the workplace are unique and can be eminent.. Initiatives such as onsite daycare facilities, domestic abuse helpline, mental health counselors, women-specific health supports are ways to ease the burden on women to find multiple resources outside the workplace. Supportive initiatives like these positively impact productivity at the workplace by decreasing the stress associated with these unique obstacles.
5. Encourage Volunteering
Engage with members of the Women’s ERG by organizing volunteering opportunities for them in association with women-centric non-profit organizations. Employees will be able to contribute to society and there will be an increased awareness of the hardships faced by fellow women such as limited access to healthcare, debt, and financial dependence. Women employees can also choose to become angel mentors to help women in distress to get back on their feet. This will also impart a sense of purpose among the volunteers.
6. Teach Through Entertainment
Showcasing movies with a strong feminist message or films that deal with women’s rights is a fun idea for an event for Women’s ERGs. Employees can unwind and bond with one another by discussing these relevant topics. The event managers can conduct polls and quizzes through ERG management tools to make the event more interactive.
7. Provide Training and Certification
Organizations should conduct training and certification on topics submitted by women for their career advancement. This initiative could be planned in conjunction with the employees, their managers and their mentors. By investing in the growth and development of women employees, the glass ceiling can be broken in the long run.
8. Invite Guest Speakers
Successful women across different fields serve as a source of inspiration for women everywhere. Invite women guest speakers to share their experiences and provide insight on how they have navigated the challenges they encountered. If your organization has more women in technology, consider inviting women Chief Technology Officers as guest speakers or Chief Financial Officers if the audience has more roles in finance.
Women’s Employee Resource Groups are a great place to foster a culture of belonging and suggest and advocate for workplace improvements. Investing in the well-being of this community will create a ripple effect for generations to come.