Employee Resource Group Engagement
At VF, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, associate-led groups that foster diversity of thought and help transform individual differences into insights and capabilities that fuel growth. In 2017, VF wanted to expand its network of ERGs throughout its global operations and ensure that the mission and objectives of the ERGs were aligned to the company’s global Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) strategy and business needs.
In 2017, the I&D team developed a plan to enhance and strengthen the capabilities and impact of the company’s Employee Resource Groups. A number of actions were taken, including the following:
- Developed an ERG toolkit that provides new and existing ERGs with critical information on establishing and maintaining a successful group. The toolkit included information on how to create a group from inception to launch, the importance of ERGs, suggested organizational structure, how to develop a strategic plan with objectives, examples of how to measure business impact, and other key components.
- Hosted quarterly ERG Steering Committee (ESC) meetings with the chairs of each ERG. These meetings provided chairs with an opportunity to share best practices and learn and network with their colleagues.
- Provided numerous communication and learning opportunities for VF’s global associate base to learn how to participate in an existing ERG or start a new ERG. Various members of VF’s I&D team hosted these events, with more planned soon.
- Launched an internal leadership video series to engage existing ERG members and associates in conversations with our Board of Directors regarding inclusion & diversity.
With the new ERG toolkit and communications resources, VF has increased the number of ERGs by adding 8 new groups over the past year, while also growing membership across existing ERGs. We’ve also expanded the scope of our groups, to include women, young professionals and LGBTQ associates, among others.
VF’s diversity – among our people, our brands, and our consumers – is a source of competitive strength and organizational pride. We are committed to ensuring that VF will always remain a community that welcomes, appreciates, and values the differences that make each of us unique. We’re proud to partner with other companies to continue this important dialogue and spur meaningful action to enhance and cultivate an inclusive workplace.