Skip to main content

Employee Resource Groups

Network with your ESU peers

Employee Resource Groups

At Emporia State University, we value the diverse perspectives that make up our college community. Based on feedback through the 2018 Climate Survey, focus groups conducted by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and other feedback mechanisms, our community members have expressed the desire to cultivate a sense of belonging and engage in decisions that affect ESU’s community. In alignment with our strategic plan’s goal to become a model for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and in order to facilitate more opportunities for communication, connection, and support among our faculty and staff, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in partnership with Human Resources, will be facilitating the creation of Employee Resource Groups.

What are Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)?

Employee Resource Groups aim to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace. The groups exist to provide holistic, community-based support and help in personal or career development while creating a safe space where employees can bring their whole selves to the table. ERGs provide a forum in which members of an organization who share common interests, identities, backgrounds, or experiences.

The first employee resource groups were initially workplace affinity groups created in response to racial strife of the civil rights era. Joseph Wilson, the former CEO of Xerox, and his African American employees designed and launched the National Black Employees Caucus in 1970 to address racial tension and the issue of workplace discrimination. According to a report from Bentley University, nearly 90% of all Fortune 500 companies have ERGs.

The Impact of ERGs

ERGs provide a forum for campus members to share concerns, find community, and offer a supportive environment. However, as ERGs have evolved, they have also been shown to impact retention, recruitment, mentoring, leadership development, and a resource for students and potential students. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management, 90% of companies who participated said ERGs helped make new hires more comfortable during the onboarding process, and 70% relied on ERGs to build a workforce to reflect the demographics of the populations they served.

Benefits of ERGs

  • Creates open communication for employees who share common identities or experiences to be in community with one another and offer support while building a sense of belonging
  • Advance a diverse and inclusive campus culture while reinforcing the importance of inclusion
  • Empower groups through financial support, organizational support, and access to university leadership
  • Create a clear line of communication from members of the ERGs to leadership to voice concerns and lend a critical lens to policies, community issues, and community needs
  • Provide a social space for staff and faculty to connect and network
  • Offer interested faculty and staff the opportunity to strengthen our campus community through dialogue, professional development, education, and community building

ERG Structure

ERGs can be built around a range of personal or professional interests and affiliations including military veterans, women of color, the LGBTQ+ community, working parents, and more. Each groups needs and goals may be different in scope. Therefore, the structure given to these groups is minimal and is put into place to ensure the ERGs are able to achieve their goals with the support of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Human Resources. The ERG program is driven by ESU’s core values of excellence, respect, responsibility, and service.

ERG Requirements

  • ERGs commit to meeting at least twice a semester
  • Coordinators commit to meeting with the Interim Senior Director of Diversity once a semester and serve as a liaison to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Coordinators will collectively meet once a semester to encourage collaboration and communication among the groups
  • Each ERG will define the group’s individual mission, goals, membership expectations, and budget requests. These missions and goals should demonstrate thoughtful connection to the core values and meaningful ways the group will enhance campus life for both its members and ESU’s community as a whole

ERG Coordinators

We recognize that potentially many of these groups will represent historically excluded and marginalized populations on campus. Our offices also understand that these community members are often tasked with completing extra labor in order to support other staff and faculty, as well as students, within these populations. Therefore, those who choose to serve as a coordinator for an ERG will be provided with a small stipend as recognition of their time and labor in supporting our efforts to become a model for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Employee Resource Groups (ERG)

Women's Leadership Group

Good leadership is fundamental to the success, in all aspects, of the mission of Emporia State University.  No matter their role or position, everyone can exercise the type of leadership that empowers others and makes changes that move forward a community.  The Women’s Leadership Group creates a safe place for learning leadership skills and reflecting on our unique path to leadership while holding a place for relationship-building and belonging.

Upcoming meetings:

April 4 (9-10AM)

April 18 (9-10AM)

May 2 (9-10AM)

Located in the PDK Room, Memorial Union

Julie Cayton -

LGBTQ+ Group

The LGBTQ+ ERG’s purpose is to create an inclusive, supportive community for faculty and staff at Emporia State University through activities, book clubs, service projects, and time together. We aim to build and sustain a community where all individuals feel a sense of belonging. We do this work by creating relationships across campus and providing space for people to be their authentic, full selves.

Upcoming meetings:

April 17 (3:00 pm)

Located in Roe R. Cross Room, Memorial Union

Brandy Clarke -

Faculty and Staff of Color Group

The Faculty & Staff of Color ERG acts as an inclusive and safe space for faculty and staff of color to have community with each other and serves as a way to stay connected through communal resources and support. The Faculty & Staff of Color ERG also provides feedback and recommendations to the ESU Leadership Team regarding the growth and visibility of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus and the recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff of color. 

Rebecca Rodriguez Carey -

Resiliency and Healing Group

The Resiliency and Healing Group will serve as a resource to the campus community to learn about and create ways to build resilience and self-care through activities, community outreach, and partnerships with other campus groups. Members can develop new skills, build on existing strategies, and develop community and connection, while feeling cared for and welcomed by like-minded colleagues.

Upcoming meetings:

First Fridays of every month starting in September from 3-5 p.m. in PKP, Memorial Union.

Nyki Stump -

Young Professionals Group 

Stepping into a new career can be tough especially when you step into an environment where you feel out of touch with your colleagues. We would like to welcome you to the Young Professionals ERG, we serve as a group for Gen Z and younger Millennial employees who are wanting to get to know some of the other new faculty and staff members that have joined us at Emporia State. The Young Professionals ERG also provides the opportunity for new employees to learn the ins and outs of working in higher education from each other and find ways in which we can support one another.

Upcoming meetings: 

March 26 (2PM)

April 24 (2PM) 

Located in the Diversity Lounge, Memorial Union

Percy Holt -


For questions contact Nyk Robertson, senior director of diversity