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Why a Pride ERG is a must-have in every organization

Updated: Jun 14


Pride ERG is a must have

An Employee Resource Group (ERG) is a safe space intentionally created by the organization for underrepresented communities where employees can be their authentic selves and connect with one another. Identity-based ERGs are especially impactful in creating inclusive workplaces.


Pride ERG


The LGBTQIA+ ERG or Pride ERG at the workplace is created for employees belonging to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community and their allies. A Pride ERG is a must-have in every organization because it impacts employee well-being as well as business objectives. Listed below are the reasons why every organization should have an ERG that supports its LGBTQIA+ workforce.


1. A sense of belonging


The primary purpose that a Pride or LGBTQIA+ employee resource group serves is providing a sense of belonging to employees, who may or may not be out, but are part of the community. About one-third (37.7%) of LGBT employees have reported experiencing at least one form of harassment at work because of their sexual orientation or gender identity at some point in their lives. These challenges can be discussed without apprehension in the Pride ERG. With hate crimes against this community still being prevalent in the 21st century, employees need to feel physically and emotionally safe at their place of work and the Pride ERG provides this safe haven.


2. Becoming an employer of choice


A majority of Gen Z and younger millennials advocate for authenticity and demand inclusion at the workplace. While choosing a prospective employer, an organization having a Pride ERG stands out to candidates and conveys the commitment of the organization to diversity and inclusion beyond mere tokenism. Promoting awareness about the LGBTQIA+ ERG during the recruitment process also assures candidates that their career prospects will not be affected by being part of the community. Such visibility can attract top talent who might be hesitant to join companies who do not seem inclusive.


3. Improving workplace policies and processes


The Pride ERG members can contribute immensely in transforming policies and processes that have not been revisited for a long time. By creating anti-discrimination policies, incorporating transgender rights and making the workplace physically inclusive for all (gender-neutral restrooms), organizations can attract a more diverse workforce. ERG members can work with the HR team to ensure policies are inclusive. For example, parental leave in case of surrogacy should be treated the same as it would for any other employee. Unconscious bias and gender assumptions in the recruitment process can also be overcome by introducing formal training for hiring managers that has been approved by ERG members.


4. Innovation in products and services


Employees belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community who are also part of the Pride ERG can be leveraged as partners in product and service development. The Pride ERG can provide input to marketing campaigns to make them more inclusive, for example, by ensuring that imagery is not limited to heterosexual couples but also includes same-sex partners and parents. A leading healthcare firm's LGBTQ Resource Group started a grassroots initiative in 2021 to allow employees, staff, patients and visitors an opportunity to represent their pronouns with buttons and stickers so that no one would be using pronouns that weren't represented as what one individual would use. This initiative grew and was made a priority initiative for our entire organizational system, with really strong leadership buy-in and commitment. In the service industry, the ERG can work towards ensuring all forms and documentation are inclusive of all genders and personal pronouns. These are just few of the many ways the Pride ERG can create business impact.




5. Redefining allyship


Two-thirds (67.5%) of LGBT employees reported that they have heard negative comments, slurs, or jokes about LGBTQ people at work. This shows the need for more dialogue and explicit support from colleagues. An LGBTQIA+ employee resource group is often open for allies to join as well. Through sharing sessions, allies can understand the challenges faced by the community first-hand. These allies can jump in during awkward interactions and educate other colleagues politely and spread awareness. The workforce includes parents with children who belong to the LGBTQIA+ community and the Pride ERG serves as a place where they can celebrate their family members and feel accepted.


6. Representation in leadership roles


Just 10 out of thousands of named executive officers at America’s 1,000 largest companies identify as part of the LGBTQ community. As self-identification increases, the new workforce will look for role models at the workplace. The LGBTQIA+ employee resource group provides an avenue where employees at different levels can interact. Mentoring programs within the ERG help charter the course of career progression with guidance to help LGBTQIA+ employees climb the corporate ladder. Reverse mentoring programs facilitated by the Pride ERG is another great way to educate senior leadership, engage in open dialogue and get the internal community’s voice heard.


A Pride or LGBTQIA+ employee resource group is an essential component in building a truly inclusive and diverse workplace and should be supported by the leadership team to create real impact.


Frequently Asked Questions


How can employees get involved with the Pride ERG?


Employees interested in the LGBTQ+ or Pride ERG can easily get involved. Companies with Employee Experience platforms like Teleskope allow one-click join.  Participation extends beyond membership, as many ERGs welcome allies to their events, activities, and discussions.  Pride ERG members can collaborate with other ERGs and departments to spread awareness and offer valuable LGBTQ+ perspectives. Advanced platforms can facilitate multi-ERG events, fostering broader understanding and collaboration.

 

What specific activities or events does the Pride ERG host?


Pride ERGs plan a vibrant calendar of events to celebrate LGBTQ+ identities and foster inclusivity. Educational workshops might cover LGBTQ+ history, terminology, or allyship best practices. Social events like game nights or potlucks create a space for casual connection. Community engagement can involve volunteering at LGBTQ+ shelters or fundraising for local organizations. For a more public display of pride, ERGs may participate in local Pride parades or festivals, showcasing company support alongside the LGBTQ+ community. Download the ERG Guide and Planner here for more engagement ideas.

 

How are Pride ERGs funded and supported by the organization?

 

Funding for Pride ERGs can come from a few key sources within an organization. Companies often allocate a specific budget to cover event costs, materials for activities, or even honorariums for guest speakers. Beyond direct funding, organizations can show support through in-kind resources. This might include providing dedicated meeting spaces for ERG gatherings, promoting ERG initiatives on company communication channels, or allowing employees paid time off to participate in volunteer activities chosen by the ERG. These various forms of support demonstrate a company's commitment inclusion, not just through words, but by empowering the Pride ERG to create a welcoming and enriching environment for LGBTQ+ employees and allies. Read the detailed blog on ERG Budgets here which also has video links with practical examples of how companies manage their ERG budgets.


Free Resources on ERG Management


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