When I was working as a Women’s Initiative Manager at a law firm, one of the biggest projects I worked on was launching a Women’s Network and a Family Network. These employee resource groups (ERGs) were an important part of our gender talent strategy. Through the networks, employees were able to put on programming and sponsor events that educated the rest of the firm about important issues related to being a woman attorney or working caregiver. They were able gather for support and camaraderie. They served as excellent opportunities for networking and gaining internal visibility. In short, there were significant benefits to joining these networks for both the members and the firm.
Recently, Fairygodboss (my favorite career community for women), put out a report that found that investing in ERGs was one of the four ways that companies could help advance gender equality in the workplace. Other things they can do? Advocate for women, evaluate hiring and promotion practices, and practice what you preach. You can access the full report here, and I encourage you to read through it for all of the great insight they’ve collected, including the current state of women in the workplace, what drives female job satisfaction, what women are really talking about, and even the best companies for women.
The reality is that workplace equality will not happen on its own. It will require specific and targeted action, and we all have a role to play. Starting your own ERG could be one way to advocate for the policies that will help bring about the changes necessary to see real improvement.
How are you advocating for gender equality at work?
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