The CIPD’s anti-racism hub includes a range of resources and guidance to help people professionals tackle racism and racial discrimination in the workplace, including a practical new guide on how to set up an Employee Resource Group (ERG) for black and ethnic minority employees.

ERGs, also known as business network groups or affinity groups, provide support to specific groups from diverse communities, helping their members by creating a sense of belonging that might not exist elsewhere in the organisation.

They provide a safe channel through which employees can express their voice and share their experiences, with a sense that these will be understood, heard and listened to by those who are more likely to have experienced similar issues and challenges.

All employees, regardless of race or ethnicity, should be encouraged to participate in and support the ERG, and having a sponsor from the senior management team will help to demonstrate its importance and value to the organisation.

Successful ERGs should be engaged at a strategic and business level, and an ERG for black and ethnic minority employees could be asked to provide feedback on members’ experience of processes including attraction, recruitment and selection, and barriers that have resulted in the exclusion of employees from senior roles.

The CIPD’s new eight step guide outlines each of the key steps to establishing an impactful ERG for black and ethnic minority groups – from identifying the role and contribution of the group, to providing guidance on governance and implementation, the role of the executive sponsor, allocating financial resources and time, to recognising cultural sub-groups, allying with other groups and networks, and creating channels to hear and act on lived experiences.

Read how the CIPD champions racial diversity and inclusion through its employee resource group EmbRACE, which is sponsored by CIPD Chief Executive Peter Cheese. The group was launched in 2018 and includes employees from all ethnicities and backgrounds who are inspired to create a more inclusive workplace.

Brad Taylor, the CIPD’s Director of People says that he would like to see EmbRACE becoming a role model for other ERGs. “I’d like people to look at the CIPD and the way that we do things and see that great things can come about when we adopt a truly inclusive culture,” he said.