Over the past few years, Ohio Desk, like many organizations, has placed an importance on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace. What started as a small group of five employees trying to educate themselves on the need for DE&I has snowballed into a team of 14 Community Champions engaging the workplace and implementing change in the way we view DE&I today.

Our efforts first began with a focus on diversity from a racial perspective following the murder of George Floyd. While that continues to be important to the organization, we’ve broadened our purview to understand that diversity includes all things that make individuals unique: race, gender, age, religion, education, economic background, and sexual orientation, to name just a few.

It goes without being said that it is ethical for employers to create an environment that is representative and inclusive of the vast communities they may serve, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that it also caters to the success of a business. Just like any living organism in nature, companies must evolve with the ever-changing world in which they exist, or they will perish. As we celebrate Ohio Desk’s 115th anniversary this year, we understand that the best way to progress is by utilizing insights from all members of our organization. That is why we’re piloting our first Employee Resource Group, or ERG, for Emerging Professionals.

An ERG is a voluntary employee led peer group where individuals can meet and support others with whom they share commonalities within an organization. These commonalities can be identity based (i.e., race) or situational (i.e., caregivers). The Ohio Desk Emerging Professionals Resource Group will aim to connect those who are interning, relatively new to the workforce, or perhaps adjusting to a career change.

We have seen unprecedented changes to the workplace and economy within the past few years and understand the experience of being an “emerging professional” will not be the same across generations. The goal is to encourage collaboration, growth, and mentorship by guiding group discussion, workshopping skills, and strengthening connections within the company. Topics of conversations may include what makes group members feel fulfilled at work, how they view advancement within the organization, or how they are coping with record high inflation while trying to establish themselves.

By backing this ERG, Ohio Desk hopes to aid in the development of less-tenured employees while giving them confidence to share thoughts on organizational matters and play a role in how our company evolves. As we continue to advance in our DE&I journey, we hope this group is a catalyst for employees to create other resource groups that can aid in the growth and diversification of Ohio Desk!

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