CXO

How to launch employee resource groups

At the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration, Cathy Scerbo of Liberty Mutual explained the benefits of employee resource groups for underrepresented populations.

At the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration, Cathy Scerbo of Liberty Mutual spoke with TechRepublic's Alison DeNisco Rayome and explained the benefits of employee resource groups for underrepresented populations.

Cathy Scerbo: ERGs, employee research groups, are incredibly important right now. What we're finding is they're creating a conversation that hadn't happened before. Allies and folks in these underrepresented populations are having a very different discussion that's creating empathy, and it's creating an open conversation that allows us to move the whole organization forward.

Particularly for women in tech, companies need to understand: this is an industry issue, it's not just a company issue, and there's so much help out there. When we first started at Liberty, we reached out to a lot of companies which were already making a difference inside. The important thing to think about for your own program, is to tackle it from both a diversity perspective, and an inclusion perspective.

SEE: IT jobs 2018: Hiring priorities, growth areas, and strategies to fill open roles (Tech Pro Research)

At Liberty, as we're looking at diversity, we're working with middle schools and high schools, to create a different pipeline. We have an organization called Liberty Encouraging Girls in Technology, or LEGIT. Internally, we're creating events where folks can come in and have the conversations. We're having open coffees with leaders and allies. We're having panel discussions. We're bringing in external speakers, and we're opening up the dialog opportunities, wherever we can.

SEE: IT Hiring Kit: Programmer (Tech Pro Research)

Then, we're tackling it from a mentoring perspective. We've created mentoring circles for both professional development for women, as well as for technical development for women to try to get more women into those higher technical roles. It's critically important to balance both the diversity perspectives, as a company. Get out in the community, talk to other industries, as well as to create that inclusive environment, so that you're not only attracting, but also retaining those underrepresented groups.

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About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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