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OCTOBER 22, 2020 //     

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at Allison+Partners, and why they matter

By Andrew Rogers 

Diverse teams create better quality work. Particularly in our creative industry, where understanding your audience is so important, homogenous teams are less able to produce the best possible campaigns for our clients.  

It’s important that we continue improving the ways that we discuss diversity, inclusion and equity within our agency, while also advising our clients on the steps they can take. One key way businesses can help to create more inclusion and advocacy in their organisations is through Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs. 

ERGs have been around since the 1960s in some form but have become more common and visible in the past decade. These voluntary employee-led groups create a safe space for the communities they are representing, while also acting as a place to organise and advocate for change within the organisation. ERGs help bring representation to less represented communities, or those who face specific challenges in the workplace.  

According to TopMBA, you can find an ERG in 90% of Fortune 500 companies. Not only have they provided an important space for the communities they serve, they have also helped leadership better understand diverse perspectives as they set out their diversity and inclusion goals and initiatives.   

Many organisations specifically struggle with the inclusion part of diversity and inclusion. They might be able to hire more diverse teams, but that’s only effective if these individuals are included in the decision-making process and are able to build long-term happiness and careers within the company. ERGs ensure people are given a voice and allow them to organise and advocate for change when needed. They also show company’s commitment to listening to the unique experiences of people from various backgrounds who bring different perspectives to their teams.  

Creativity can only flourish when employees feel safe and heard at work. People must feel that they can bring their whole selves to the office (or the virtual office as it stands right now). Whether organised from the grassroots by employees, or created by leadership, ERGs create vital spaces and connection for employees.  

We’re proud of the ERGs at Allison+Partners that cross borders and connect communities from around the world. We actively promote a vibrant ecosystem of ERGs to connect and empower less represented communities at our agency and ensure their voices are heard. Our ERGs include: 

  • Allison+Palette-Our global network striving to increase awareness of racial, cultural and ethnic differences within Allison+Partners, as well as the global community at large, and create a safe “home base” for people of colour to ensure their needs are met and various cultures are openly and fairly represented internally. 
  • Allison+Proud-Our global network for LGBTQ+employees and allies at Allison+Partners, ensuring everyone can bring their true selves to work, and campaigning for the empowerment of LGBTQ+ people around the world.  
  • Allison+ParentsOur group providingresourcesfor all facets of family life, from being a new or aging parent, to navigating life with toddlers, tweens, teens. 
  • Allison+AbilityOur global network working to increase awareness and inclusion for people with disabilities. We seek to provide a safe space for people with disabilities and their allies, to share stories and be heard, understood and supported. 
  • Women’s Leadership Program: Our global program with a mission to promote leadership throughout the agency, focusing on skills and knowledge-building activities that will help all staff at Allison+Partnersrealise their full potential.  

Of course, we recognise that ERGs are only one step in the continuous journey to a more diverse and inclusive workplaceHowever their ability to make a positive impact should not be underestimated.  

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