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Supporting Employee Resource Groups at the City

August 25, 2017

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Diversity

The City of Boston is piloting Employee Resource Groups to help foster workplace inclusion.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are for coworkers to connect around shared interests. These groups help the City leverage diversity and foster inclusion in the workplace. They help us create a workplace culture that values the contributions of all. Also, they provide accessible opportunities for professional development.

Studies have shown that members of these groups help spark creativity and innovation. Research also finds that members are less likely to leave their jobs. They provide a space for support and a platform from which employees can advocate for change. Many organizations have had tremendous success working with Employee Resource Groups. The City of Boston wants to bring some of these benefits to our workplace.

That is why the Diversity Team is very excited to pilot Employee Resource Groups at the City of Boston!  We hope they will position City workers to deliver the best service to Boston's residents. Contact the Diversity Team if you have questions about our Employee Resource Groups.

Learn more about the groups

Three Employee Resource Groups are part of this pilot. They are:

  1. the City Hall Book Club
  2. the City Hall Women’s Group, and
  3. Connect with Boston.

These groups will lead activities to help employees learn about the history of our City. They will visit places that are often neglected and looking for ways to improve services. They will learn about issues affecting women and girls.

The groups will create support networks for their coworkers., and their leadership will be a tremendous asset to the City. All of the groups' activities align with the Mayor’s vision of a thriving, healthy, and innovative city, with equality and opportunity for all.

“Every day as municipal employees, we make decisions that impact the people of Boston. We encourage Connect with Boston members to get to know Boston outside of our normal work duties," explained Connect with Boston ERG co-founder, Najah Casimir. "This group is intentional about learning from our constituents and neighbors. We will spend time reflecting on our relationships with the City and working together to improve services.”

Brenna Callahan, co-founder of the City Hall Women’s Group, added, “One of the major ways to support women is by providing a safe space. This promotes resource and advice-sharing as well as network building. It is our hope that members of this group find ways to collaborate as we seek to promote women's advancement in a variety of ways. The more supported City Hall employees feel, the more likely they are to perform well at work and share best practices with each other.”

Spotlight: City Hall Book Club

The City Hall Book Club began in the Department of Innovation and Technology. It now has members from several departments. Members choose what book to read as a team and discuss the reading after work in an informal setting.

The Book Club is currently reading books from the Imagine Boston 2030 Reading List. This list is a collection of award-winning texts that explore different facets of Boston’s character. Bostonians of all ages helped to choose the books that would be on the list.

City Hall Book Club

The Book Club has read and discussed ideas from the books listed below. Feel free to read along!

  • "Common Ground," by J. Anthony Lukas
  • "Evicted," by Mathew Desmond
  • "All Souls," by Michael Patrick MacDonald
  • "A People's History of the New Boston," by Jim Vrabel
  • "There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration," by Ali Noorani