Carnegie Mellon University

Winter Necessity Clothing Drive: CMU's employee resource groups are collecting donations of hats, gloves, socks and undergarments. Items can be dropped off on campus or purchased via online wishlist. 

Employee Resource Groups

CMU supports the establishment of employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs are groups formed by members of an organization with the overarching purpose to unite individuals to a common cause and to provide a structured framework for awareness opportunities for members. To be formally recognized, an ERG's goals must align with the objectives and culture of CMU through self-identifying its purpose through the application process. Individual membership in ERGs is strictly voluntary; open to all interested individuals; and supports diversity, equity and inclusiveness. Additionally, ERGs serve the purpose of acting as a conduit for outreach efforts for the local community and for other campus initiatives.

Employee Resource Groups Special Interest Groups
  • Groups united by a common cause and to provide a structure framework and network for members
  • ERGs allow employees with commonalities to meet, support each other and produce a particular outcome that helps improve your business and their job satisfaction. These commonalities may include: race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, or social/economic causes
  • Mission/goals of group aligned with those of the organization
  • Advocacy is a key component of an ERG
  • Employee led with organizational support via executive sponsorship and a budget
  • Voluntary membership
  • Open to all interested individuals — even those who may not share commonalities (for example, a women’s ERG may include men who wish be allies and support the goals of the group)
  • Groups united by a common interest, hobby or activity
  • Goals of group are related to interest and not related to the organization
  • Groups meet to engage in shared interest or activity
  • Voluntary membership
  • Employee led — organization does not offer sponsorship or a budget, but may allow employees to meet in shared workspaces
  • While open to all, membership is typically dominated by members who share the common interest or participate in the hobby/activity

An underlying fundamental for the success of ERGs is that CMU's leadership is engaged and committed to the long-term sustainability of employee resource groups. To encourage this, a senior advisory committee (SAC), made up of vice presidents, vice provosts and deans, has been created. The SAC signals to employees that CMU is committed to diversity and inclusion and will serve as champions who are willing and able to promote ERGs to other leaders and staff as well as provide guidance, funding, mentoring, visibility, networking, assistance in reaching goals and communicating progress. This support will aid the ERGs in their achievements, credibility and longevity.

  1. Complete ERG Application Form.
  2.  Once the the ERG Application Form is received, it will be reviewed by the staff ombudsperson and the SAC.
  3. If the proposed ERG criteria meets mutual objectives, the staff ombudsperson will schedule a meeting with the submitters to review the process of defining the proposed ERG's purpose and mission statement. (Vibrant Pittsburgh's ERG Toolkit [pdf] provides guidance for each suggested item below. Learn more about Vibrant Pittsburgh.)
  4. The staff ombudsperson and the employee(s) will collaborate to finalize the timeline and logistics for ERG launch, recruitment of members, and promotion of the new ERG to university community.
  1. Learn about the current employee resource groups at CMU
  2. Complete the ERG Membership Form.

The staff ombudsperson provides employees with guidance and resources to help facilitate the establishment of ERGs. They also provide structure to ensure successful establishment, organization and longevity, and facilitate funding requests.

  • There are already some established employee affinity groups and a multitude of student organizations that represent a wide range of interests. For example, the Carnegie Mellon Women's Association connects and supports campus community members through networking opportunities, social gatherings and educational programming throughout the year.
  • Once formally recognized, CMU ERGs are eligible to be promoted on the Human Resources website, request to have events included on campus calendars, and represent CMU at campus and community events.
  • Although the staff ombudsperson facilitates the ERG establishment process, it is the individual ERG's responsibility to determine and adhere to the specific operational and funding policies established by the group.