“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”’
These are the words of former business executive and thought leader, Seth Godin. As organizations work to make more resources available to employees, I’m reminded that employee resource groups (or ERG’s) are mini tribes connected to an identity. ERGs are connected to leaders who share a common desire to help ActiveCampaign better understand what inclusion means to these tribes.
What is an ERG? A Little History…
Did you know that the first ERG was formed in response to racial inequity? As the race riots increased in the early 1960s, they made their way to Rochester, New York. Many black employees were frustrated by the discrimination they experienced at a company called Xerox. To address this issue, Xerox CEO Joseph Wilson wrote a letter to all Xerox hiring managers that he wanted a very aggressive program to recruit and hire black employees in his company. Shortly after this, Xerox launched the National Black Employee Caucus in 1970–one of the first employee resource groups.
Joe Wilson with the dry photocopier that changed the face of reproduction. (Source)
Since the early 1960s, employee resource groups have expanded around different identities. ActiveCampaign currently has ERG’s around the following identities:
- Moms of ActiveCampaign
- Dads of ActiveCampaign
- Women of ActiveCampaign
With the help of executive sponsors and a focus on mentorship and support, our employee resource groups will continue to grow.