Employee Resource Groups Celebrate First Year

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Leaders from Georgia Tech’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and the Office of Human Resources’ Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion team gathered recently to celebrate their achievements, review lessons learned, and share what’s next for ERGs.

“You all have done trailblazing work,” said Pearl Alexander, executive director of the Staff Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement (SDIE) team in Institute Diversity. “It has been no small feat. We’re answering the broader call from the entire Georgia Tech workforce when they said we need something.” 

In fall of 2013, the Office of Human Resources launched six ERGs to support the Institute’s efforts to ensure employees have a greater sense of belonging. These voluntary employee associations provide opportunities to network with colleagues, participate in professional development, and interact with others who have common interests. 

The ERGs have a combined total of 1,152 members, not including guests who attend programs. Since launching 18 months ago, the ERGs have held 13 leadership and career development seminars, seven panel discussions and mentoring circles, eight TED Talk discussions and book/film/documentary reviews, seven health and wellness and work-life balance events, and eight social networking events and cultural celebrations. 

“I’m proud of the work you have done collectively,” said Alexander to the ERG leaders. “Our story is just beginning. You have inspired a vision that’s big. It’s about Georgia Tech’s impact on the world. We want to model empowerment.” 


New ERG Coming Soon

One aspect of this vision is the introduction of a new ERG that focuses on increasing resilience, self-efficacy, interpersonal capabilities, and coping skills. Its offerings of support will include providing safe environments for employees to talk through healthy ways of coping with trauma and stress, educational workshops, interactive facilitated dialogues, and individual mentoring.

Sonia Alvarez-Robinson, executive director of Strategic Consulting, will be the new ERG’s executive champion, and Cheryl Cofield, director of SDIE’s diversity and inclusion programs, will serve as its principal empowerment officer.  

“Sonia, Pearl, and I are excited about the possibilities of the newly emerging ERG,” said Cofield. “Our hope is to empower individuals to better manage the effects of trauma and stress, to change adversity into opportunity, to regain focus and personal power, and to effectively navigate — and adapt to — the ever-present reality of change.”

Announced earlier this month, the Office of Human Resources’ Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion team (Pearl Alexander, Cheryl Cofield, and Jardyn Lake) was realigned to Institute Diversity, forming the new SDIE team. This team will provide more focused attention and increased support for staff diversity initiatives, including the ERGs. 

For more information about the ERGs, visit 



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Victor Rogers
  • Created:05/22/2015
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016


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