It is important to raise your hand and to get involved at your company. If you want to be successful in your career, it’s not just about what the company does for you, but what you do as well. It’s a partnership between the company and employee. It’s about taking control of your career.
The best way to create opportunities for yourself is not only to do a fantastic job at what you do, but to do other things.
Becoming a member of at least one employee resource group (ERG) is a great opportunity to develop your career, whether you’re a white male, LGBT person, woman of color, or a veteran with a disability. (ERGS are also called business resource groups or affinity groups.)
We are all unique, and while some cross different communities, but we all have many potential intersections.
Related Article: Exploring the History and Evolution of Employee Resource Groups
If you get involved in an ERG and get exposure, you never know where that next contact, connection, project or even potential career opportunity can be.
Through the different ERGs, employees sometimes make career changes and get exposure to different roles across a company. And, they start thinking bigger and broader about opportunities.
Related Article: 5 Ways to Launch and Utilize Employee Resource Groups
ERGs are also a good way to work with senior management while demonstrating your skills and sharing your ideas, Forbes reports.
“You won’t be going over your boss’ head as you network with these senior executives because your relationships are being forged outside your other role,” writes Caroline Ceniza-Levine. “You develop connections and deepen relationships.”
At EY (2020 DiversityInc Hall of Fame Company), ERGS and inclusion councils are a major part of an employee’s experience. EY was also ranked No. 1 on DiversityInc’s 2020 Top Companies for ERGs list.
EY’s ERGS elevate the voices of the employees, so that they feel a strong sense of belonging, and have the platform to grow and succeed. Each network is open and inclusive and encourages participation from allies.
The networks have three strategic drivers — connecting people, connecting communities and connecting with clients. In order to achieve these three objectives, EY professional networks utilize a framework based on shared guidance, but also have the flexibility to develop programming that best suits each group’s needs in that market.
“At EY, we see tremendous value in structuring our business resource and affinity groups around gender, ethnicity, ability and sexual orientation, to name a few… We have also expanded our efforts to invest in inclusiveness councils around the world. These councils consist of key influential leaders from all areas of our business who help us to further drive our D&I strategy by exploring challenges, elevating best practices and creating more equitable outcomes for all of our people,” says Karyn Twaronite, partner, global and americas diversity and inclusiveness officer at EY. “By investing in both resource groups and councils, we ensure that all differences and perspectives are better heard and leveraged.”