From helping in career and personal development to creating a safe space where everyone can feel comfortable at work, our people are our top priority at Clarus.
But there’s always more we can do.
As systemic racism, gender issues, questions of personal identity, and politics affect everyone, we’re continually looking for ways to support our employees. That’s why we decided to create a Clarus ERG (Employee Resource Group).
The goal of these groups is to nurture diversity and inclusion in the workplace – A sense of belonging, trusting relationships, and new perspectives and conversation to help companies, and the people in them, thrive.
Here’s some background on how the ERG got started, why it’s so important, and what the future of the group will look like.
From Pilot to Launch – Creating the Clarus ERG
Being that ERGs are voluntary and led by employees, in the fall of 2020, we surveyed our company to get a baseline. We wanted to understand what our employees thought about diversity and to seek volunteers for our first ERG.
The response was great. We had over 40 employees who wanted to be a part of it.
We partnered with DEI consultants Wayfinding Partners and formed an ERG pilot group to go through two learning sessions: Let’s Talk About Race and Dismantling Inequities in the Workplace. These sessions encouraged open, honest discussions about topics that are uncomfortable.
We continued to meet with Wayfinding Partners throughout late 2020 and early 2021 for a series of workshops, discussions, and breakout groups. We also started developing a Board of Directors and different subcommittees to lead the charge in specific areas.
The Community Engagement Committee – Support and uplift oppressed and marginalized groups in the Hartford region, especially youth, by expanding awareness of and creating access to new opportunities.
The Clarus Engagement Committee – Create a sense of community and belonging for our Clarus family, by providing outlets and support for open expression and understanding.
The Education Committee – Through learning & development opportunities, provide information and resources on various topics, cultures, people, and experiences that support the goals of the Clarus engagement committee.
As 2021 progressed, the ERG received the full support of our Senior Leadership Team, and the entire company went through training sessions as well. This helped us in two areas:
- Move closer to being more comfortable with having these types of conversations
- Further realize the need for our ERG and the work we need to do.
Over the past several months, our ERG continued to define subcommittees and spent time coaching with Wayfinding Partners to define our goals in this coming fiscal year. We will have a focus on internal engagement opportunities within Clarus, external partnerships with our communities, and education.
What Will the Future of the Clarus ERG Look Like?
Maintaining an environment where employees can feel at ease about bringing their whole selves to work is something we strive for at Clarus.
The people in the ERG are here because despite everyone’s busy schedules, we want to help be a part of a culture that will celebrate our differences and welcome various backgrounds while sustaining a strong sense of belonging. It brings an incredible plethora of perspectives and ideas that will make Clarus stronger as a company.
Growing the Clarus ERG with more employees and diverse backgrounds, as well as more partnerships with local organizations and communities, is what we’re marching towards.
We’re just getting started.
To learn more about the Clarus Employee Resource Group, please visit the Clarus ERG page.