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  • SE3 Racial Equity Task Group

Read.Watch.Listen. Employee Resource Groups

August 2021 Issue

A monthly forum to share diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.

Welcome to the next installment of Read.Watch.Listen: a monthly forum hosted by the NCSEA SE3 Committee to share and promote conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion within the structural engineering profession. Each month, we will curate a series of articles, audio-visual and digital media to facilitate self-education in matters that affect our professional practice as structural engineers. Whether you choose to read, watch, or listen (or all three!), we hope you will join us in this important conversation.

Photo Credit: freepik

In this edition, our focus is on Employee Resource Groups (ERG) and other internal equity groups - what they are, how to start one, and how to make them effective. Employee resource groups are employee-led groups formed with the goal of creating an equitable, inclusive workplace. They typically comprise employees who share a common gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Below, you will find resources with suggestions and tips for leaders and entry-level engineers alike. You will also learn how to make a case for the creation and/or continued support of Employee Resource Groups while learning what pitfalls to avoid to create the best environment for you and your colleagues.

Share your thoughts and/or recommended resources for the next issue at


More Than A "Club": How to Make Employee Resource Groups Matter - Jopwell

Sonja Gittens-Ottley of Asana discusses the benefits and structure of Employee Resources groups. In this article, she covers how to set goals for your group, how to establish membership, how to measure success, and how to avoid common risks and pitfalls.


ERG Insights and Lessons Learned - Berkeley Lab

Gary Ross, the Senior Inclusion and Diversity Specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, has led Employee Resource Groups at two different organizations. In this webinar, he shares his advice on maintaining an ERG, including how to encourage engagement and how to justify participation to firm leadership.


How to Start an Effective Employee Resource Group - Culture Happens

This podcast discusses the benefits of Employee Resource Groups. Using HubSpot’s ERGs as an example, the host explains how to start a group using a few key steps. Learn how to coordinate with HR, define your mission and goals, find allies, gain leadership buy-in, work with what you’ve got, create structure, and evolve with a changing workplace.


Questions to Ask Yourself While You Read.Watch.Listen

  • How do you think your company has benefited or would benefit from Employee Resource Groups?

  • If your company has Employee Resource Groups, what is the perception of them?

  • If you’re involved in an Employee Resource Group, have you observed overall improvements in the company culture/office environment? How would you advise people who want to start an Employee Resource Group?

  • If your company does have Employee Resource Groups but you’re not involved in one, what would make you want to get involved?


This article was originally published in the August, 2021 issue of NCSEA's Structural Connection newsletter. For more information, check out NCSEA's DEI Resources.

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