We recognized a lack of organized spaces for employees to connect with colleages from similar backgrounds and identities, which led to feelings of isolation, disengagement, and turnover.
At Chemonics, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary employee-led groups that engage our diverse global workforce and create an inclusive workplace where all employees can grow, draw on their unique backgrounds, and bring the best of themselves to sustain our business of promoting meaningful change globally. Interest for ERGs is gauged during commemmorative occasions (e.g. Pride Month, Veterans Day, Black History Month). During the programming held for those occasions, interested staff sign up to join a working group to charter an ERG. Each ERG selects two executive level-sponsors to serve as advocates and mentors while learning alongside members.
Chemonics has three established ERGs: ChemABLE, which advocates for Chemonics' global disability community; ChemPRIDE, which encourages all staff to be their authentic selves regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual characteristics; and ChemValor, which advocates for military veterans and their families. Three ERGs representing employees who identify as women, Black and African, and Asian and Pacific Islanders are slated to be established by the end of 2020.
Chemonics has 250 employees involved in its established ERGs. These ERGs have let the company to adapt more inclusive policies in human resources and in project implementation, hosted programming and training for all staff, and created affirming, inclusive spaces for staff and allies.
Albert Smith, Director or Corporate Diversity and Inclusion