What Are ERGs?
ERGs are “networks of traditionally underrepresented employees who come together based on common interests such as race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation,” explained Darrell Rosenstein, founder and HR professional at The Rosenstein Group, an executive headhunting company. “The groups are voluntary, employer-approved, and led by employees.”
Black employees at Xerox created the first ERG in the 1960s, said Sheri Crosby Wheeler, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility at Mr. Cooper, a Dallas-based mortgage company. “When ERGs first came into being they were often called affinity groups, and their primary purpose was to create a safe space for employees to support each other and focus on career development,” Wheeler said. “Now, many ERGs are less insular and more integrated into the business.”