Diversity Leaders Illustrate the Value of Affinity Networks in Corporate America

ERG panelists Robert Ingram, publisher of Uptown Professional, and Fred Smith managing director of Virtcom Consultants

At this year’s World Diversity Leadership Summit (WDLS) in New York, this writer had the opportunity to attend the “Fundamentals of Employee Resource Group (ERG’s) Return on Investment” session.

This informative session covered topics like how to measure the value of affinity networks within a corporation; how to maintain a high energy level for affinity groups company wide; how to start affinity groups; and how to institute guidelines for your company’s affinity groups.

It was moderated by Douglas Freeman, CEO of Virtcom consulting and Robert Ingram, publisher of Uptown Professional, and Fred Smith, managing director, Virtcom consulting, served as the panel experts.

Freeman imparted valuable advice and challenged ERG leaders by saying, “If you ever want to show corporate executives at your company the value of your ERG, answer these questions: How do I enhance each of the strategic points of the people strategy? How does my ERG enhance the brand? How does my ERG enhance the sales force? How does my ERG enhance innovation at my company?”

He continues, “No intelligent corporate executives will say he or she is not interested in enhancing their organization.”

C-level diversity executives from Fortune 500 companies like Procter & Gamble, OfficeMax, Massachusetts Mutual, McDonald’s, Prudential, Campbell’s Soup and Walmart were in attendance. –al weems

Rolling Out
Rolling Out

I aim a razor sharp, panoramic lens on popular culture and dissect it for our network of curious, aspirational, savvy and eccentric enthusiasts. I have the strength of an eagle and soul of a phoenix. #IAmRollingOut.



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