Allyship and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): The Importance of Supporting Marginalized Voices in the Workplace

Full length portrait of diverse business team with young woman in wheelchair all smiling at camera in office
Full length portrait of diverse business team with young woman in wheelchair all smiling at camera in office

Creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace is a shared responsibility. It requires both marginalized employees having a sense of community and belonging through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and allies actively supporting and advocating for marginalized groups.

In this post, we will explore the role of Allyship in supporting ERGs and provide actionable steps for allies to effectively support these groups.

ERGs provide a sense of community and belonging for members, allowing them to connect with others who share similar experiences and challenges. Beyond this, ERGs serve as a conduit for employees to share their perspectives and experiences with the company. By providing a supportive and inclusive environment, ERGs can help to create a more welcoming workplace for all employees.

However, marginalized employees cannot advocate for change alone. This is where allies come in. Allyship is the act of actively supporting and advocating for a marginalized group, even if you are not a member of that group yourself. Allies play a crucial role in supporting ERGs by amplifying the voices of marginalized groups and advocating for their needs and concerns.

What can Allies Do?

One of the most important ways in which allies can support ERGs is by educating themselves about the experiences and needs of the group they are supporting. This could involve reading articles, attending events and workshops, and engaging in discussions with members of the marginalized group. ERGs can also support this by providing Language and Terminology documents that share an accurate and deeper understanding of the group. Allies should make an effort to actively listen to and learn from members of the group, as this will help them to better understand the issues and challenges facing the group.

In addition to education, allies can also support ERGs by speaking up and taking action when they see or hear something that is not inclusive nor equitable. Allies should not be afraid to use their privilege and influence to effect change, whether that means speaking out against discriminatory comments or practices, or advocating for the needs and concerns of the marginalized group.

Another way in which allies can support ERGs is by attending events and initiatives and being an advocate for the group within the organization. This could involve participating in ERG-led initiatives, offering to help with events and activities, mentorship, or simply making an effort to learn about the group and its goals. Allies can also use their networks and influence to amplify the voices of ERGs and bring attention to their causes.

Allyship is a crucial component of creating a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming workplace. ERGs provide a space for marginalized employees to connect and advocate for change, and allies can play a significant role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Whether you are an ally of an ERG, or simply looking to create a more inclusive workplace, remember that small actions can have a big impact. So educate yourself, speak up, and be an advocate for change!

Not sure where to start, Download the Allies ERG Guide now to learn more about how you can actively support and advocate for marginalized groups in the workplace.

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