Accelerating DEI with ERGs, Affinity Groups, & Diversity Committees

Orion Talent provides best practices of diversity committees, ERG (employer resource groups), and affinity groups.

The big ideas and goals of DEI work are inspiring, but what about the critical day-to-day tasks it takes to achieve those important workplace outcomes? Lots of businesses and leaders discuss the value of creating diversity committees and employee resources groups, but do they know how to structure and build these initiatives so that they are effective and have the power to affect change?

Watch five industry leaders share their experience building DEI-focused internal teams, determining their purpose, makeup, and responsibilities while also ensuring they are capable of driving the changes needed to advance DEI.

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ERGs, Affinity Groups, & Diversity Committees FAQs

What is an ERG? An Affinity group? A Diversity Committee?

ERGs are employee-led volunteer groups that are formed based on shared traits or defining characteristics that group members possess. They present the opportunity to network, foster mentoring and career development, and attract diverse talent.

An affinity group is another term for an ERG. Again, the shared characteristic in an affinity group is usually a traditionally underrepresented trait.

A diversity committee is a task force that functions in an advisory rols on DEI initiatives with the goal of aligning those efforts with overall business strategy.

How are they different? How can they be used for DEI initiatives?

This is an important question and should be examined as part of of any DEI initiative. View the full webinar recording to learn more.

Why are ERGs important for diversity inclusion?

ERGs are important for diversity initiatives, because they provide your team with a safe space to share knowledge and experience, as well as improve your organizations links to various communities. Members of ERGs can serve as diversity champions and inclusion allies as you work to provide an inclusive environment.

What are some best practices for improving DEI initiatives with an ERG/Affinity Group/ Diversity Committee?

When leveraging your ERGs, Affinity Groups, or Diversity Committee to improve DEI at your company, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Ensure executive buy-in and provide executive sponsors
  • Promote cross-collaboration between ERGs
  • Create clear mission statements
  • Measure the effectiveness
  • Grow the group
  • Get members' feedback

How do you structure a diversity committee?

Diversity committees should include employees from all levels and teams. These committees usually consist of a Chair and up to 15 members. Company leaders often serve in ex- officio roles. Other possible roles include a bookkeeper, Event Chair, and Advisor.