Employee Resource Groups Pilot Program
The goals of the ERG program
At Swarthmore, we value the diverse perspectives that make up our College community. The November 2015 campus climate survey reflected our community members’ desire to cultivate a sense of belonging and engage in the decisions that affect life on campus. In order to facilitate more opportunities for connection, communication, and support among our staff and faculty, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Engagement, in partnership with the Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Development, is proud to launch the Employee Resource Groups (ERG) pilot program.
Employee Resource Groups (ERG) are voluntary groups of individuals formed around shared experiences or a common background or identification. ERGs provide opportunities for underrepresented groups on campus to gather with support for their activities. They offer interested faculty and staff members the chance to strengthen our College community through dialog, education, professional development, and fun. They also help Swarthmore’s leadership learn about and respond to the the needs and interest of our community members.
The ERG program is driven by the core values of commitment, respect, diversity, and honest communication. ERGs are designed to:
- Foster a more diverse and inclusive work environment consistent with the mission of Swarthmore College.
- Enhance the engagement, productivity, job satisfaction, and sense of belonging of our community members.
- Nurture informal mentorship relationships among members.
- Provide avenues through which Swarthmore faculty and staff can voice shared recommendations to College leadership.
- Provide a social space for Swarthmore faculty and staff to connect and network.
To learn more about the ERG program, explore this page or contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or·Sha Duncan-Smith, associate dean, Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development at email@example.com.
How ERGs work
ERGs can be built around a range of professional and personal interests and affiliations. Whether you are a young woman of color looking for professional mentorship opportunities, a working parent interested in finding support, or a military veteran with a unique experience to share, ERGs can be a tool to help you build meaningful relationships on campus. The program’s core values of commitment, respect, diversity, and honest communication should inform the mission and activities of all groups.
ERGs must commit to meeting at least twice a semester, and must nominate a coordinator. Coordinators are expected to meet collectively at least once a semester. The groups will work collaboratively with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Engagement to establish their own individual mission and goals, which should demonstrate thoughtful engagement with the goals of the ERG program, and point to creative and meaningful ways the ERG will enhance campus life for both its members and the Swarthmore community as a whole. ERGs will receive support and funding from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Engagement to help them meet their goals.
Women of Color at Swarthmore
The Woman of Color (WoC) Employee Resource Group aspires to center the experiences of women of color employees at Swarthmore College through increased visibility, fellowship, and advocacy.
Men of Color at Swarthmore
The mission of the ERG for the Men of Color is to create a space for fellowship and collegial support. In the spirit of mentorship and collaboration, the Men of Color ERG will meet regularly to discuss ways to engage the community around diversity and strive to be an organization that serves as a resource for men of color across campus.
LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning) at Swarthmore
The mission and goals of the LGBTQ+ ERG is to further engage colleagues on ways to help build upon the resources being offered, to create fellowship, and to enhance the overall support and network available for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff at Swarthmore.
New Employees on the Move
The mission of the New Employee ERG is to create a forum for employees who have less than two years with the College to share information, experiences and support a successful transition to their new positions.
Working Parents at Swarthmore
The goal of the Swarthmore Working Parents Employee Resource group is to bring together working parents to build a social and professional network and serve as a resource to lift up available resources and parent needs at Swarthmore College.
Veterans at Swarthmore
The mission of the ERG for Veterans is to create a space of comradeship and support for veterans of all branches of the armed forces. The Veterans ERG will strive to share their experiences and knowledge with the community at large and recognize military commemorations and other programs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the guidelines for Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)?
The following guidelines drive the ERG program:
- ERGs are open to all faculty and staff members who identify within the 2018-2019 pilot groups.
- ERGs each have a nominated coordinator, selected by the respective ERG, who will also serve as liaison to the Equal Opportunity Office.
- Each ERG will define collectively its goals, membership expectations, and budget requests. Goals should be aligned with broader goals of the program.
- ERGs should meet at least 2 times each semester.
- ERG coordinators will meet together at least once each semester to share ideas across ERGs.
What if I want to start an ERG that doesn’t already exist?
As the Employee Resource Group program is still in its inaugural year, for the time being the number of ERGs is limited to the current six groups. After the 2018-2019 academic year, the impact of these ERGs will be evaluated in the hope of providing more opportunities for engagement, and for the creation of new ERGs that reflect our dynamic and diverse Swarthmore community.
How did the College select and identify the current ERGs?
Employee Resource Groups offer underrepresented groups on campus the chance to connect professionally, foster dialog and education, and engage in fun and creative activities.
The current roster of ERGs emerged from existing groups in our community that were already gathering informally. They also reflect the College’s desire to foster a sense of inclusivity and belonging by making sure underrepresented voices are heard by Swarthmore leadership and included in our larger community conversation. Sources like the Campus Climate survey, exit interview data, and employee turnover statistics reveal the need for additional opportunities to help underrepresented groups on campus thrive, and to support Swarthmore’s efforts to recruit talented and diverse faculty and staff.
We encourage members of the community to reach out to the EO office for ideas, recommendations, and feedback on the ERG program. Based on the success of this pilot year, it is our hope to provide opportunities for the creation of additional ERGs in the future.