- Fast food chain Taco Bell announced last week the launch of Womxn @ The Bell, the company's first corporate U.S.-based "womxn's" employee resource group.
- The ERG's launch coincided with the Aug. 18 anniversary of the 19th Amendment's ratification as well as Women's Equality Day, per the announcement. The group aims to "develop womxn leaders to be seen and heard" and "provide opportunities for womxn to expand boundaries and engagement," among other items.
- Taco Bell said the group's name is "meant to be inclusive to transgender, nonbinary and non-white womxn that provokes thought and represents the complexity of gender (gender identification and the roles we play as womxn)."
Employers have prioritized employee resource groups as a way to support diversity and inclusion work in recent months. During its initial response to protests against systemic racism, D&I leaders at TD Bank, for example, provided additional executive support to the company's ERGs that focus on issues faced by Black employees, Girish Ganesan, the employer's global head of diversity and inclusion, previously told HR Dive.
ERGs are an example of the types of mechanisms that can help to create a more inclusive workplace, which sources have said can mean a workplace in which employees feel a sense of belonging and connection at work, as well as a sense of community. Organizational leaders can further lend support to inclusivity efforts by being an ally, which can include actions like mentorship and setting behavioral norms.
D&I leaders are likely to find a number of opportunities to drive change in the current HR environment, but they may also need to navigate difficult, perhaps uncomfortable, conversations in addition to structural and cultural barriers present at many organizations. Progress need not necessarily take the form of a check-the-box mentality, Pearlie Oni, director of employee experience at RedPeg Marketing, previously told HR Dive. Changing culture internally and listening to employees may provide a more effective approach to implementing D&I goals, Oni said.