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How to Ensure Your Pride ERG is Inclusive & Intersectional

How to Ensure Your Pride ERG is Inclusive and Intersectional

A Pride ERG (Employee Resource Group) is a purposely established safe environment within a company for employees who identify as members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community. Pride ERGs are important in a corporate environment to support employee well-being. Equally important, these spaces allow employees to be their authentic selves in the workplace.

To be most effective, ERGs must be both inclusive and intersectional. Tap into the following guide to learn how to build a Pride ERG that is inclusive and intersectional. From the benefits Pride ERG groups provide for companies, to strategies for implementation, we’ve got you covered!


Powerful ways to ensure your Pride Employee Resource Group is inclusive and intersectional:

  • Actively encourage diverse participation
  • Support continuous learning and education
  • Create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ employees
  • Promote intersectionality in leadership
  • Implement company policies that support and protect queer employees and leaders

In this list, you’ll find:

  • LGBTQ ERG resources
  • Tips for creating an impactful Pride employee resource group
  • Ways to empower your company’s Pride ERGs
  • The benefits of Pride ERGs
  • Strategies to improve pride erg’s inclusivity, diversity, and resources

Employee Wears Pride Pin

The Benefits of Pride ERGs

Not only do Pride ERGs benefit their members, these spaces also benefit the entire organization. Recognizing these advantages lays a strong foundation when advocating for the establishment, support, or expansion of these groups.

In fact, according to Forbes, Pride ERGs are listed as one of the best ways for companies to create a safe environment for their LGBTQ+ employees. Furthermore, Pride ERGs provide a safe, inclusive space, which can boost employee morale, productivity, and retention. They offer networking and professional development opportunities, fostering a supportive community. Embracing these benefits showcases an organization’s commitment to diversity and the success of all its employees.


They Enhance Workplace Culture

Pride ERGs play a pivotal role in enhancing workplace culture by cultivating an environment of respect, acceptance, and understanding. By providing a platform for open discussions and educational initiatives, these groups encourage dialogue about queer experiences, challenges, and achievements.

This fosters empathy and awareness among employees, promoting an inclusive atmosphere where diverse perspectives are valued. As a result, Pride ERGs contribute significantly to creating a sense of belonging and community.

This heightened sense of belonging can translate to increased employee satisfaction and a deeper commitment to the organization. Thus, companies can bolster employee retention rates and foster a positive and harmonious workplace culture for everyone.


Employee Resource Group

They Support Personal and Professional Development

Pride ERGs can support personal and professional development in addition to enhancing workplace culture. ERGs do so by offering members leadership roles, event planning opportunities, and advocacy platforms. Additionally, these groups provide mentoring, networking, and training opportunities.

Through these experiences, members can enhance their leadership capabilities and advance their careers as well as foster valuable skills and connections. This supportive environment nurtures individual growth, benefiting LGBTQ+ employees’ overall success within the organization. Remember that Pride ERG duties should fall within work hours to avoid penalizing employees for their participation by reducing their free time.


They Drive Business Success

Pride ERGs can help drive business success by promoting diversity and inclusivity. This opens the door to increased innovation and improved problem-solving amongst employees. When it comes to profitability, McKinsey found that companies with diverse teams can outperform less diverse companies by around 36%!

Additionally, the presence of ERGs enhance a company’s reputation, showcasing a commitment to social responsibility and attracting diverse talent. In fact, the Glassdoor Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Survey found that 76% of job seekers report that “a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.”

By embracing and supporting Pride ERGs, organizations can create a more equitable and appealing workplace. This cumulative effect enhances company competitiveness and contributes to long-term business success.


Employee Inclusivity

What Does “Inclusivity and Intersectionality” Mean?

Inclusivity refers to the intentional effort to create a welcoming and accepting environment where individuals of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions feel valued and respected. It involves ensuring that everyone’s voices are heard, needs are met, and perspectives are acknowledged without discrimination or exclusion.

An example of inclusivity within a Pride ERG could be implementing policies and practices that accommodate gender-neutral restrooms. This allows all members to feel comfortable and supported in accessing necessary facilities.

Intersectionality, on the other hand, involves recognizing the interconnectedness of various social identities and how they collectively shape an individual’s experiences and challenges. In the context of Pride ERGs, this means understanding that LGBTQ+ individuals may also belong to other marginalized groups.

A real-life example of intersectionality within a Pride ERG could be actively organizing events and discussions that address the unique experiences and needs of LGBTQ+ individuals who are also part of other marginalized communities.


The Importance of Inclusivity and Intersectionality in Pride ERGs

Incorporating inclusivity and intersectionality into Pride ERGs is crucial for creating a supportive and empowering environment for all employees. By valuing diverse experiences and identities, ERGs can contribute to the creation of a safe, open, and honest environment for all employees.

Furthermore, inclusive ERGs promote creativity, innovation, and employee commitment, benefiting the organization as a whole. Overlooking these concepts can lead to feelings of exclusion, perpetuate stereotypes, and hinder the group’s effectiveness. That said, companies can mitigate these challenges with proactive efforts as well as best practices  found throughout this post.


Group of Employees

Strategies to Ensure Inclusivity and Intersectionality

Intentional strategies are vital for promoting inclusivity and intersectionality in ERGs. Without specific efforts, certain identities or experiences may inadvertently be excluded. Read on for tried and true strategies to ensuring inclusivity and intersectionality in your company’s ERGs.


Actively Encourage Diverse Participation

Representation is crucial for fostering inclusivity in organizations. Having diverse groups represented in your companies leadership and other key positions also demonstrates the value placed on diverse voices. Plus, it creates a sense of belonging and empowerment for employees from different backgrounds and identities.

To encourage diverse participation, organizations can implement targeted outreach efforts, affinity group partnerships, and mentorship programs. Additionally, ongoing training on diversity awareness and unconscious bias can help to maintain a supported environment where everyone’s voice is heard.

Lastly, regular employee feedback opportunities can aid in assessing the effectiveness of strategies and ensuring an inclusive atmosphere.


Pride ERG Employee Education

Continuous Learning and Education

Continuous learning on LGBTQ+ issues, intersectionality, and inclusivity is additionally crucial for Pride ERGs. Companies can ensure teams are informed by hosting training sessions, workshops, and incorporating external resources. These activities can provide valuable insights and promote open discussions across the workplace.

Furthermore, encourage learning from each other’s experiences, fostering curiosity and empathy. Sharing one another’s knowledge enriches the entire ERG community. Overall, emphasizing ongoing education helps to ensure an empowered and inclusive environment.

Offered during the month of June, our Pride virtual team building session is a dynamic, interactive experience that encourages group learning and discussion, combined with the fun of virtual field trips and Pride trivia games.


Creating Safe Spaces

It is important for ERGs to provide a safe space where members can express themselves openly without fear of judgment or backlash. Particularly successful strategies to creating a safe space include setting ground rules, moderating discussions, and encouraging respectful communication.

Effective moderation ensures constructive discussions, while encouraging respect promotes an inclusive and supportive environment. Providing the group with clear expectations for the space will foster trust and understanding among members.


Diverse Leadership

Promoting Intersectionality in Leadership

Leadership plays a large role in setting the tone for inclusivity and intersectionality. As a result, having diverse leadership within an ERG is crucial. Embracing diverse leadership can empower all members to contribute to the ERG’s direction.

Implement strategies such as rotating leadership and incorporating term limits, encouraging nominations, and providing leadership training to promote diversity within your leadership roles.


Addressing Microaggressions

Microaggressions are subtle expressions of discrimination. The impact of microaggressions affects people’s individual experiences as well as the overall work environment.

When unchecked, these behaviors contribute to a culture of exclusion and erode trust and camaraderie among colleagues. This can lead to decreased productivity, increased turnover rates, and a decline in team morale.

Training on unconscious bias, cultural competence, and LGBTQ+ issues and rights can raise awareness and prevent microaggressions. Additionally, clear guidelines, bystander intervention, and leadership modeling are effective in addressing and preventing microaggressions in the workplace.


Pride ERG Policies

Implementing Organizational Policies

Supportive LGBTQ+ organizational policies are crucial in the workplace. Key policies include inclusive healthcare coverage, nondiscrimination policies, enforcing LGBTQ+ rights, and gender-neutral facilities.

If not already in place, ERGs can advocate for these policies by conducting research, collaborating with key stakeholders, and building alliances with other groups. Additionally, utilizing internal communication channels and participating in external LGBTQ+ advocacy initiatives can help to amplify the ERG’s influence on policy change.


Encouraging Allyship

Allyship involves individuals who are not part of the LGBTQ+ community actively supporting and advocating for those who are. Allyship is drastically important in creating an inclusive and intersectional ERG and workplace. 

Training and resources on LGBTQ+ issues can promote allyship within the ERG and the organization. Allies should listen, learn, and challenge discrimination while using their privilege to advocate for inclusivity. Encouraging allyship amongst all employees leads to a more empowering and diverse workplace environment.


Pride ERG Employee Events

Incorporating Intersectional Events and Initiatives

Hosting events that specifically highlight intersectional identities within the LGBTQ+ community can enrich your Pride ERG experience. Initiatives can include hosting guest speakers from diverse backgrounds, movie screenings, discussions on state and national rights, and book clubs.

Or, celebrate diverse pride events like Black Pride and Transgender Day of Remembrance. Overall, these initiatives help to create awareness, encourage dialogue, and contribute to an inclusive and intersectional ERG.


Implementing Change: From Planning to Execution

To implement the strategies from this blog post, start by assessing your organization’s current state. Set clear and measurable goals aligned with your ERG’s mission.

Next, develop a comprehensive action plan with specific steps and timelines. Begin implementation by communicating initiatives through various employee and leadership channels.

As you go, measure success using KPIs like ERG growth and employee feedback. Then, make any necessary adjustments for continuous improvement and group satisfaction.

This step-by-step guide provides any team with a systematic approach to creating a more inclusive workplace for all employees.


Employee Resource Groups

Your Next Steps Toward Inclusivity and Intersectionality

Continue your journey of ensuring inclusivity and intersectionality in your Pride ERG with this guide. Together with your team, brainstorm ways that you can encourage diverse participation, provide continuous training and education, update company policies, and foster allyship.

Looking for guided activities for your ERG or company?  Unexpected Virtual Tours has you covered! Our library of inclusive virtual programming is loved by teams at Google, Coca-Cola, Salesforce, and more! Browse our year-round offerings as well as our special June Pride virtual team building session.

Plus, browse our blog posts on Pride Month work ideas and Pride social media ideas for more ways to celebrate and empower your Pride ERGs year-round!