Archived: What Are the Benefits of Employee-Resource Groups

Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.


Question:

What’s your opinion on employee networks/affinity groups?

Answer:

Employee-resource groups (AKA network or affinity groups) are the foundation of effective bi-directional communications in an organization. All companies in The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity use them.

I prefer “resource” group because most white people don’t perceive the need for a network or affinity, but everyone needs a resource.

Aside from the tremendous psychological benefit of facilitating minority groups to aggregate (see Beverly Tatum’s book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria“), savvy companies task their resource groups with coming up with business-development ideas.

This links the marketplace to the company by utilizing employees as an internal resource. Other benefits to employee-resource groups include increased engagement, recruitment (referrals), increased retention and talent development.

Latest News

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: October 6

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. The Dollar Divide…

WOCA 2022 Research: How to Improve Representation of Women of Color in the Workplace 

Capital One and DiversityInc shared the results of their collaborative research report on women of color in the workplace at the 2022 annual Women of Color and Their Allies event held in Louisville on Sept. 21 in conjunction with Humana. Dr. Chris Parker, Head of Research & Data, DiversityInc, confirmed…

WOCA 2022: Executive Leaders Share Stories of Allyship for Women of Color

One of the best indicators of an organization’s success around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is leadership accountability for DEI. At our 2022 Women of Color and Their Allies event, DiversityInc’s Head of Strategic Partnerships, Anita Ricketts, was joined on stage by leaders who are holding themselves and their contemporaries…

The Dollar Divide

Too Poor to Die: The Rising Cost of Funerals 

Death is expensive.  For more than two decades, I have extensively written and reported about money-related content and even I was surprised at the cost of my mother’s funeral.  The median cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial is approximately $7,848. That doesn’t include the cost of the…