We worked with our corporate research sponsors (Wells Fargo, Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, AT&T, ConAgra Foods, Eli Lilly and Company, Chrysler and Target) to develop questions for this survey that ascertained specific areas not being addressed in The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity survey and in other research projects. The areas of particular interest were in how to accurately count
employee-resource-group participation and how to include hourly/unionized workers; how to find, develop and sustain leaders for employee-resource groups; and what role the executive sponsor should play.
We identified, based on DiversityInc Top 50 data and our knowledge of these companies, 20 organizations that had
the best track records for employee-resource groups in these areas based on the participation level of employees in
these groups. We surveyed these companies, and nine companies from these industries—financial services, consumer-packaged goods, retail, pharmaceuticals, auto and telecommunications—filled out the questionnaire.
We have interviewed these companies to ascertain their best practices and also have included in here aggregate
responses to certain similar questions asked on the DiversityInc Top 50 survey—average responses for The 2011
DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity and, for comparative purposes, for the 535 participants in the 2011 survey.
In this section, we surveyed the companies about he structures of their employee-resource groups, how they define and count members and how they differentiate between different types of employees (hourly, unionized and contractors) in efforts to be
inclusionary but practical.
We note that the DiversityInc Top 50 survey has put
increasing emphasis on the percentage of employees
who are employee-resource-group members as well as
organizations that have these groups consistently across
business and geographic units. The primary reason
is the direct impact of these groups on recruitment,
engagement and talent development of all employees,
but especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups: Blacks, Latinos, Asians, American Indians,
women, LGBT people and people with disabilities.
In the past five years, we have seen a direct increase
in the percentage of employees reported as members of
employee-resource groups. Last year, the DiversityInc
Top 50 averaged 23. 4 percent of employees as “members
of employee-resource groups” while the average of all
535 participants in the DiversityInc Top 50 survey was
18. 9 percent. Six years ago, when we started asking this
question on the survey, the DiversityInc Top 50 averaged 11. 2 percent.
There is a direct data correlation between higher
membership and increased racial/gender representation at various management levels, according to analysis
of the DiversityInc Top 50. For example, companies in
the DiversityInc Top 50 with employee-participation
rates above 25 percent in these groups have 18 percent
DiversityInc Top 50
There is a direct data correlation between higher membership and
increased racial/gender representation at various management levels,
according to analysis of the DiversityInc Top 50.
more Blacks, 26 percent more Latinos, 65 percent more
Asians and 11 percent more women than companies
with employee-participation rates below 15 percent.
How, then, do companies define membership and
participation? That is the question we sought to explore
in this research project.
We asked our survey participants which of the following
criteria they used to assess membership: formally signs
up for membership; attends events; attends minimum
number of meetings; and actively contributes (not
necessarily a leadership role but not passive attendance
either). The criteria was not mutually exclusive, so a
READ MORE For more on employee-resource groups, visit www.DiversityIncBestPractices.com/ergs