Building Communities at W2O: The Importance of Employee Resource Groups
77% of millennials say a company’s diversity would be a deciding factor in their job choice. The growing need for diverse and inclusive efforts has spurred the start of many employee research groups, or ERGs. At W2O, the recently-launched ERGs are an exciting addition that enhances employees’ experience at the firm. These ERGs were formed by employees who wanted to provide an inclusive community for different groups within the firm. These groups allow for both personal and professional growth. As interns, we have had a chance to jump in on much of the action through participating in meetings with four ERGs: W2Out, a group for LGBTQ+ and allies, Women of W2O, a group to connect and empower women, COM, the Committee of Millennials for employees new to the workforce, and W2O Fusion, a multicultural group promoting diversity and inclusion.
W2O’s month of LGBTQ+ Pride-themed social logos and celebrations concluded in an incredible W2Out happy hour complete with toasts, decor and rainbow treats. On June 20th, W2O employees and interns gathered in the New York office to raise a toast to the firm’s inclusion efforts both internally and externally. Employees shared information regarding the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall and received office updates all while feasting on rainbow cookies, rainbow cupcakes, cheese trays and wine in celebration of the occasion. Continuing the fun, employees roamed the room to read up on the history of gay pride in New York posted on the walls and shared how they planned to show their support.
Women of W2O
The Women of W2O have big plans for the future and are just getting started. This ERG is a platform for the women of the agency to uplift and support each other through mentorship and networking. At their quarterly meeting kick-off, Andrea Johnston, president of Pure, hosted a fireside chat to discuss her career as a self-made entrepreneur in the industry. She gave advice to attendees and encouraged the ERG to continue their hard work, and to take risks.
At W2O, women comprise about half of our senior leadership positions, which is significant considering only 5 % of CEO’s at S&P 500 companies are women. The introduction of this resource group underscores W2O’s commitment to helping women throughout our firm grow and excel.
Committee of Millennials (COM)
Committee of Millennials provides an outlet for the younger members of the W2O workforce to connect with peers and showcase their awesome work. This network is important for W2O associates to help them navigate the agency world and grow their network. With a resource like COM, the future leaders of W2O can develop their professional skills together.
At the June meeting of COM, members presented their latest account work and shared how they’ve learned from recent successes and failures. Attendees munched on snacks and sipped on wine before the start of the presentation, and then stuck around at the end for some mingling and networking.
W2O Fusion was created by several employees who share a passion for diversity and inclusion both in and out of the workplace. At its inaugural meeting, the ERG provided an open-forum style discussion on the struggles of balancing different backgrounds and identities in the workplace, and how we can continue to enhance and celebrate diversity.
The forum also highlighted opportunities for all ERGs to join together to build a culture of respect and bring forward multiple perspectives.
ERGs contribute greatly to any company culture, and with all the budding groups here at W2O, there is a place for everyone to feel involved and connected. Experiencing these four ERGs has expanded our understanding and appreciation of W2O. It has made us feel included in the family culture, even as interns. If you’re on the hunt for an internship or new job, ask whether ERGs are part of the culture— or even better, start your own!