Most employers want to create a work environment that feels safe for their employees, but the reality of this can often be more complicated than it seems. How do you make sure 2SLGBTQ+ people can be their authentic selves, completely free from all forms of judgement, harassment, or discrimination?
A properly resourced Employee Resource Group (ERG) with a clear mission and plan is often the most powerful way to create and ensure a safe work environment. While many of the companies QueerTech works with have established at least one ERG for 2SLGBTQ+ employees, it’s not always clear how exactly these groups should be organized and what they should be doing. If you’ve decided that an ERG would be right for your company, but you’re still confused about how it works and how to start one, we’re here to help!
When it comes to ERGs, Accenture sets a stellar example. The company has hundreds of thousands of employees around the world, and it’s dedicated to making sure that all of them feel safe and welcome at work. For example, Accenture’s Pride at Accenture ERG is very large and very active, setting an example for other ERGs at the company, large and small. Here’s how its members do it.
One of the goals of many ERGs is to help educate teams inside the company about issues faced by the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Pride at Accenture uses its regular newsletters not only to educate Accenture employees about what the group is doing but also to invite people who are in and out of the group to take part in special educational events like Coming Out Day.
By inviting employees to take part in Coming Out Day, like Accenture does, your ERG will help to facilitate conversations that can sometimes be very difficult to have. Coming Out Day doesn’t just have to be for 2SLGBTQ+ employees, either. Included in Pride at Accenture’s invitation to take part in this important annual event is also a call for employees that aren’t a part of the community to come out as allies. This has started powerful conversations at the company about why it’s important to support everyone.
An ERG isn’t just limited to newsletters and chats. Pride at Accenture takes its mission to educate further by hosting informative sessions. These are chances for folks to share their own personal experiences and wisdom; for example, a recent session held was called “Celebrating Transparenthood: A Journey of Raising a Transgender Child.”
During this session, a senior management team member from Accenture shared her story of raising a trans teenager and invited others to learn from her experience. This kind of personal event can be both educational and healing at the same time, as people are able to connect with their co-workers over shared experiences and interests.
Of course, no 2SLGBTQ+-serving ERG would be complete without some events during Pride Month! Pride at Accenture is very active during Pride Month, with all kinds of events to help people learn and embrace diversity. This includes everything from talks about 2SLGBTQ+ mental health to discussions of pride in the workplace, and even a gaming competition! Pride Month is an excellent opportunity for your ERG to educate your fellow employees, and also have a lot of fun together.
Forming an ERG is a great way to foster diversity in the workplace, but they don’t all operate in the same ways. Pride at Accenture is an example of a prolific ERG with many educational and fun events, and even though we think you could learn from them we’re sure you’ve got great ideas too!
So get out there, set up an ERG of your own, and help us Queer the Tech Ecosystem together!
Learn more about Accenture at HERE!
Join the Accenture and QueerTech teams this year as we celebrate Montreal Pride by giving back to local 2SLGBTQ+ nonprofits by building technology for a stronger community!