Have you heard of Business Resource Groups or “BRGs”? They are a great way for companies to promote an inclusive culture . Sometimes they are referred to as “Employee Resource Groups” (“ERGs”).
They emerged in the late ’60s in the U.S. and, although at first they were “affinity groups” formed by employees, over the years they have evolved and have become organized groups supported by the companies
Today they are a formula adopted by multinational companies that increasingly give more value and importance to Diversity
My beginnings in Diversity began just like this…. joining a BRG at JPMorgan when I worked in London… specifically in n Women on the Move “WOTM” … a BRG whose mission is the development and professional advancement of the bank female employees.
The experience enriched me so much that when I returned to Madrid I launched WOTM for the JPMorgan Iberia office.
From this wonderful experience, I declare myself a fervent advocate for the need to manage Diversity in organizations and the power that these groups can have in the change towards an inclusive culture, where any employee is welcome and respected.
In this article I explain what a BRG is, who it is aimed at and the numerous benefits it brings to organizations.
What is a BRG?
- It is a voluntary, employee-led group that fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace and whose primary goal is to create workplaces that are equitable and fair for all employees and that favor equal opportunities.
- It is often created with a specific business goal, which helps the company attract, retain, and even do business with a more diverse demographic client base.
- They have sponsors at the highest level in the company that guarantee the connection of the BRG with the mission and objectives of the organisation.
Who is it addressed to?
- BRGs are groups of employees who represent different diversities in the company.
- For example, they represent women, employees of different generations, employees with families, from the LGBTI community, employees with functional diversity.
- But the fact that their objective is favouring the professional development of these groups, does not mean that they are closed to the rest of the employees… QUITE THE OPPOSITE. One of the keys to BRGs success is precisely to have the presence and participation of ALLIES in the BRG that empathise with the needs and barriers encountered by employees of underrepresented groups and help overcome them.
How can BRGs benefit your organization?
- Help retain diverse talent
- Ensure employees have a voice and are heard about the challenges they face
- Create a sense of belonging and employee engagement
- Help identify diverse talent outside or inside the company
- Promote the professional development of diverse talent
- Give visibility to high-potential employees
- Connect senior management with employees
- Allow to better understand the customer base
- Offer a networking platform for employees
- Help identify employees with leadership skills
- Accompany new employees in their onboarding process
Do you still not have BRGs in your organization? Do you want to know more about BRGs?
Don’t hesitate to contact me… I will love to accompany you on this on this wonderful journey.
Myriam Alcaide – Asesora en estrategias de Diversidad e Inclusión