Sep 30, 2013 | Atlanta, GA
Opportunities to network with Georgia Tech colleagues, receive professional development, and hear from others with common interests. These are just a few of the reasons Sandy Simpson thinks you should join one of the Institute’s new Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
“ERGs have been known to increase employee engagement and provide a greater sense of inclusion in organizations where these types of groups exist,” said Simpson, director of initiative advancement in the Office of Strategic Consulting and principal empowerment officer for the Women of Georgia Tech ERG. “ERGs will move us forward in the areas of recruitment, retention, and professional development — they are going to be a game changer for Georgia Tech.”
On Oct. 9, the first ERG — the Women of Georgia Tech (WOT) group — will meet. WOT is one of six pilot ERGs that will also include groups for African heritage; Hispanics/Latinos; introverts; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, and llies (LGBTQA); and veterans.
“We talked with more than 200 Tech employees and learned the campus longed for opportunities to build a greater sense of community and experience a greater sense of belonging,” said Cheryl Cofield, director of culture, diversity, and inclusion for the Office for Human Resources. “As a result, we decided to pilot ERGs to help in Georgia Tech’s goal of inclusive excellence.”
ERGs are one of Tech’s latest tools for creating a sense of community among faculty and staff.
“When people connect with their workplace, there is a real return — across the board,” said Scott Morris, chief human resources officer. “People benefit because they feel great about coming to work; the Institute benefits from increased productivity, creativity, and
Although the ERGs are designed to offer forums where like-minded faculty and staff can gather, each group is open to anyone interested in joining. For example, men are welcome to join the women’s group and nonveterans can join the veteran’s group, Cofield added.
Meetings for each ERG will be held bimonthly and activities will focus on the following three areas:
- Recruiting and retaining top talent. Supporting recruitment efforts to attract diverse candidates and implement work-life activities to retain them.
- Engaging the workforce. Fostering camaraderie and community building.
- Developing talent. Offering mentoring and networking opportunities.
The WOT group will kick off its meetings on Oct. 9 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.
The LGBTQA group will have its first meeting on Oct. 22 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Gordy Room of the Wardlaw Center.
The other ERG kick-off meetings will continue throughout the fall semester.