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Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)


Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are employee-led voluntary groups that are intended to help foster a more equitable, inclusive, and supportive workplace experience. These intentional spaces for employees are generally organized around shared interests, identities, or backgrounds. ERGs are valuable as they enhance inclusive community engagement efforts, and assist in the recruitment and retention of a diverse community of employees. ERGs must welcome all employees.

ERG Membership

A successful ERG requires the identification and commitment of a small core of dedicated and interested employees that will ensure organization and continuity. A list of requirements to form an ERG are listed below:

  • At least two (2) full-time employees must serve as the organizers of the ERG.
  • At least five (5) interested employees, inclusive of the two (2) organizers, who are willing to join the ERG, unless otherwise approved by the Assistant Provost of Institutional Equity and Community Engagement (Assistant Provost).
  • All members of the ERG must be current employees of the University.
  • ERGs should be formed around a shared characteristic or common interest (e.g., LGBTQ+, employees of color, employees caring for elderly parents, early career professionals) that can affect professional development and workplace culture.
  • An ERG must have a connection to the mission of Willamette University.
  • All employees must be welcome - an ERG’s mission may center around the issues of a particular group of people around a shared identity, still all employees, regardless of identity, who share the same mission and goals as the ERG must be welcome.

Establishing an ERG

ERGs must be approved in writing by the Assistant Provost of Institutional Equity & Community Engagement, in consultation with Human Resources. After completing the ERG Application, at least one meeting between organizers of the ERG and the Assistant Provost must take place before an ERG is approved. Among the topics that will be discussed include:

  • Group goals, activities, and resources.
  • Best practice strategies on building and sustaining momentum.
  • Budget proposals - each ERG may receive funds to support activities as determined by the Assistant Provost. Budgets will be set equitably across ERGs and can consider the number of participants.


Review the Policy on Employee Resource groups.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are some examples of ERG activities?
    • Professional development
    • Networking events
    • Community building
    • Community relations programs
    • Promoting social and intellectual enrichment
    • Events promoting diversity, equity and inclusion
    • Events which celebrate and showcase the unique contributions of ERG members or the communities from which they originate
    • Guest speakers
  • What ERGs exist and how do I join?

    As ERGs are established, the names of each group and contact information for the leader(s) of those groups will be listed below. If you are interested in joining an ERG we encourage you to reach out to the leader(s) directly to get more information and be placed on the ERG email list.

    For general inquiries contact Emilio Solano (

  • When can ERGs meet?
    ERG meetings may be held during the workday with advance scheduling and approval of supervisors. Other activities, such as social events, may be conducted outside working hours so long as participation remains voluntary.
Willamette University

Office of Institutional Equity

Salem Campus

University Center 310
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.