Jeff is a recently retired lawyer of nearly 40 years and founder of the Mindful Law Coaching & Consulting Group. He was Chair of the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association („CBA“) and founder of CBA Mindfulness and the Law Committee. Jeff was also the first Vice Chair of the Illinois Advocate Welfare Task Force sponsored by LAP and has approached numerous legal organizations about mindfulness and meditation for lawyers. He is also a regular meditator, trained in the Vipassana tradition. However, employers who have established or plan to establish affinity groups must consider several legal and practical issues. The erg is a unit of energy equivalent to 10−7 joules (100 nJ). It originated in the centimeter-gram-second (CGS) system. It has the symbol erg. The erg is not an SI unit. Its name is derived from ergon (ἔργον), a Greek word meaning „work“ or „task“.
 Living well, improving the environment of our law firms and other institutions of the legal profession, and supporting what`s important to individual lawyers – training a mindfulness and meditation ERG! Patricia Davison-Lewis (left) is a legal advisor and legal recruiter for a large Washington DC area company. From a legal perspective, ERGs raise two common issues: the use of social media and concerns about discrimination. In short, well-managed affinity groups can be used to attract and retain top talent, improve bottom line results, and create a healthy and successful corporate culture. ERMs provide a service to employees and the company by training and inspiring employees who choose to participate in career counselling workshops and other topics of interest. My ERG has brought many women of color to the country who have reached career milestones (e.g., COO and other high-level positions) for Q&A sessions. ERMs have access to the company`s human resources staff and career counsellors and voluntarily prepare workshops on interview techniques, resumes and related topics for ERG members. Such events are always open to all members of society. We receive many letters of thanks from staff thanking us for developing and managing the program. Another ERM offers our employees regular sessions in American Sign Language. On Veterans Day, several ERGs worked together to collect and send recognition cards to U.S. veterans.
Our African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and active ERGs have worked together to develop a program that addresses the challenges faced by multicultural women in the workforce. GRE members are great brand ambassadors. Who better than ERG members to get involved in public relations? Tracey Simmons Fisher (right) is a nationally recognized author, researcher and advocate for IED issues. ERMs are also valuable supports to help companies recruit a diverse workforce. When our recruiters go to job fairs at universities and colleges, we see smiling faces and extra interest when we talk to students about our GRE, which is run and run by women. For example, my ERG attempts to educate the public about the additional barrier (often referred to as the „concrete ceiling“) faced by women of color in the workforce. It`s an additional hurdle that women of color have to overcome to get into leadership positions. This is markedly different from the glass ceiling (seen through and easy to break) that other women cross to reach leadership positions because, metaphorically speaking, the ability to break glass is much more likely than breaking concrete. Women of color need someone to open doors for them.
Women of color have traditionally lacked „business mentors“ (senior executives who can help them navigate the corporate ladder and climb the ladder). Studies have shown that this is largely due to the phenomenon that people tend to care for or sponsor people they feel most comfortable with – and these tend to be people who look like them and/or family members. For this reason, the guidelines suggest that ERGs hire and involve high-level sponsors who are senior executives in a company. Major trade publications suggest that women of color should have white male leaders as sponsors (EM sponsors) for their groups. ERGs are typically trained by employees seeking community or support, and may or may not be formally or financially supported by an employer. A GRE could be formed around almost any area of interest, from professional goals to gardening. Employee resource groups can help employees feel more connected to a company and its culture, and they can also help companies hire and retain. Think: Advance corporate culture. Think: Formalize the process of doing so. Think: Lead from above and lead from below – coordinated.
Think: Be proactive, not reactive. Think: Take responsibility for the well-being of everyone in the company. ERGs can be an excellent forum for members to help each other with networking and professional development. Businesses thrive when learning and information are distributed throughout the enterprise. ERMs are a way to share this information in a way that employees value and invest in. In addition, employees who build a larger network of contacts will not only help them, but also support collaboration between different departments of the company. After the death of George Floyd, ERGs became even more widely accepted in the world of work. A national conversation had broken out.
The understanding of this action, which supports righteous behavior and treatment that takes place not only interpersonally, but also within institutions and systems, has become clearer. ERGs are now recognized as important resources that can support, mobilize and empower historically marginalized groups. During the pandemic, as offices closed, ERMs became increasingly popular as companies realized they could collaborate effectively through meetings via Zoom, Teams, and other virtual platforms. As meetings took place and business went virtually, ERG online dating became popular opportunities for employees who felt isolated to share common interests and connect with each other during the pandemic. In fact, the ERM I founded developed and managed several company-wide programs during this time, including a leadership program focused on maximizing equitable inclusion in management and included a Q&A session with our company president. Employee Resource Groups are focus group-type organizational support mechanisms that can impact a company`s bottom line. ERMs support organizations in areas such as employee recruitment and retention. You and other group members can turn your thoughts into views and perspectives that can be turned into solutions that can solve your organization`s diversity and inclusion issues.
More on these effects on the bottom line later. We currently have eight recognized ERGs in my company, with approximately 6,000 employees in offices across the country. Three years ago, I founded an ERG that supports women of color. We also have ERGs that support women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, LGBTQ communities, veterans, people with disabilities, and an ERG for employees who want to keep abreast of the latest technological advances. Some ERGs, such as HOLA, represent new outposts of established and existing national organizations. Others, such as Networking for Inclusion and Advancement of African American Women, are more recent. Employee resource groups are formed by employees who share a common trait – ethnicity, gender, generation, religious affiliation, etc. ERG`s employee resource groups are based on support, career development enhancement, professional networking and overall contribution to personal development in the workplace. While rooted in common characteristics, the Group is also aligned with the company`s mission, values, objectives, business practices and objectives, while emphasizing diversity and inclusion. Management usually acts as executive sponsor or champion on behalf of the group. Employee Resource Groups have been around for over 25 years. I am pleased to report that the scope is expanding and evolving to include interest groups.
Examples of interest-based groups include those based on job responsibilities, environment, volunteerism and well-being. In addition, several studies have shown that companies are likely to generate above-average financial returns if they are in the top quartile of their competitors in terms of diversity by race, ethnicity and gender.