Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Henkel brings about meaningful change by embracing ERGs


Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) concepts are increasingly gaining ground due to the tangible opportunities they provide in terms of education, community and sense of belonging for groups that struggle to see their voices represented.

Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) necessitates the development of a culture that values and elevates diverse viewpoints and perspectives. Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs, are one of the most engaging and crucial ways for businesses to accomplish this. Corporate culture is ever-changing, and ERGs serve as a grassroots foundation for culture change. I've been involved in ERGs my entire career, both as a member and as an ally, and I understand the platform they provide for voices that aren't always heard.

Although ERGs began as employee-led advocacy groups during the Civil Rights Movement, their role has evolved into a mutually beneficial relationship and a business imperative for businesses today. ERGs are becoming increasingly valuable to organizations.

According to a study conducted by salesforce.org and the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, 90% of Fortune 500 companies now have ERGs, and three-quarters of companies say they also help with retention. Companies, on the other hand, should keep those roots in mind as they translate DEI commitments into real change. ERGs can provide tangible opportunities for education, community, and allyship to groups that continue to struggle to have their voices heard.

In the end, representation matters and has an impact on our ability to attract and retain top talent. It is important for employees to see people who are similar to them and have had some of the same experiences. ERGs aid in both higher-level business representation and the creation of safe spaces for people to connect over shared experiences, thereby creating the sense of belonging that organizations should strive for.

Over 1,000 Henkel employees participate in our 17 ERGs. We are proud to have ERGs representing a wide range of cultures and interests. Women's leadership, emerging leaders, veterans/military, LBGTQ+, Latino/Hispanic, Black/African American, and other affinity groups are available. Our groups are passionate and active at Henkel and in the community, providing invaluable opportunities to explore different points of view and support one another.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, for example, the Unidos ERG hosted a webinar on inclusive leadership with Dr. Stephanie Johnson, author of the book Inclusify. And I was honored to join ERG representatives from across North America for a day of service with Habitat for Humanity in Detroit, MI as part of our company event to recognize the ERGs' work and plan for future growth.

ERGs help us improve our business in addition to shaping our culture. Our ERGs worked with the DEI Council to create a Beauty Marketing Guide that promotes inclusive and accessible practises across our beauty brands. It's just one of many examples of the value these groups can bring to a company.

Moving forward, I hope that ERGs can continue to evolve from their roots in order to foster an inclusive community and celebrate intersectional allyship opportunities. It is critical for employees, businesses, and society.