Employee resource groups are popular for working parents

Working parents, adoptive parents and staff with eldercare responsibilities are among some of the most prevalent participants in employee resource groups (ERGs).

ERGs, which are also known as employee networks and affinity groups, are enjoying a renaissance at some organisations, according to a study by consultancy Mercer ERGs Come of Age: The Evolution of Employee Resource Groups, which analysed employee networks in 64 organisations.

Some of the most popular focus areas for ERGs included working parents (35%), adoptive parents (13%), those with eldercare responsibilities (11%), generational (48%), and multicultural (43%).

Michal Fineman, a consultant in Mercer’s global equality, diversity and inclusion practice and the study’s chief author, said: “Three trends appear to account for the rebirth of the ERG movement in large firms.

“First is the emergence of the millennial generation, whose members are comfortable using social media to work collaboratively. Second is the globalisation of ERGs which are drawing interest from a new potential membership base in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

“Most importantly, ERGs have an increasingly business-oriented focus in their missions and activities which earns them more respect and involvement from business leaders and gives members greater visibility in the organisation.”

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