Since July 19, most of the talk in the D&I space has been about Deloitte's decision to do away with its employee affinity groups. Many have reached out to DiversityInc to get our thoughts on it. We oppose the decision. We firmly believe that employee resource groups (ERGs) play a critical role in helping companies achieve business objectives. Our article, Analyzing Deloitte's Plans to Phase Out Business Resource Groups, outlined some benefits that ERGs present to companies including, but not limited to, providing leadership opportunities for members and increasing employee engagement.
In the past few weeks, I've read a number of articles that concluded that Deloitte made the right decision. All focused on talent development and how, in general, ERGs have done little to change the racial and gender diversity in senior leadership. In my experience, based on years of sifting through and analyzing D&I data, that's not the case. The articles also didn't cover other business objectives that many companies use ERGs for, such as recruitment, branding, community engagement and commerce. In addition, I've yet to read an article that acknowledges there could be coexistence between ERGs and inclusion councils.
This article, illustrated with case studies, addresses those areas I think the others missed.