Voices is a central space for all GPJ Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to come together in a safe environment that supports and amplifies the voices of our community.
Voices is more than a one day event. It’s a platform that unites us, in a safe space, to celebrate wins, talk through real issues, and have inspired conversations to start the year off right.
The Five Pillars of Voices
In 2023, Voices took a look back at how much our ERGs have contributed to GPJ in the past few years, and invited more GPJers to join in making an authentic impact. We’re focused on the work ahead and while we know that it can’t be done alone, we’ve seen that it can be done in community when we feel like we belong!
Our ERGs have created change at GPJ, but we’re far from finished (DEIB is never ‘achieved,’ after all). 2021 proved that ERGs are effective change agents. 2022 showed us that ERGs don’t work without us. In 2023, we are committed to creating accessible pathways to ERG involvement, building supportive relationships, and empowering all GPJers to act in allyship–so everyone can Belong.
The goal of our 90-minute Voices program was for all of us to connect to community, feel confident and ready for new challenges, and to use our voices to contribute to DEIB and ERGs.
The Voices program was a live, 60-minute broadcast with in-office watch parties. CEO Chris Meyer welcomed guests to the program, hosted by GPJ Executive Producer Melanie Hohman. The remainder of the program included…
Keynote: The Power of ERGs
DEI expert and author, Farzana Nayani shared her experiences of people creating authentic change and belonging in organizations through ERGs. She shared how ERGs play a critical role in creating a more inclusive work environment for marginalized individuals, while also supporting an organization’s business goals, and offering the opportunity for innovative leadership. ERGs are powerful indeed! Copies of her book The Power of ERGs, were available at GPJ offices.
ERG Panel: There’s work to do!
Description: Our ERGs have made incredible contributions to GPJ. This was a chance to meet the passionate, collaborative, fearless GPJers who are leading the ERGs in 2023. Attendees learned all about the communities they’re creating, the work they’re driving forward, and how they can join in support.
Our 7 North America GPJ offices participated by hosting Voices ‘23 watch parties for those who could attend in-person. Each office received 10 copies of the book The Power of ERGs for teammates to access, and custom Voices sticker sheets as a giveaway to attendees.
In Office and Remote Group Activity
The virtual broadcast was followed by a 30-minute in-person activity to encourage networking and community building. For our remote employees, we created a virtual experience they could participate in via Jamboard and Google Meets.
Group Activity: Use Your Voice
Speaking up can feel scary, but what if it was as simple as placing a sticker next to the action that resonates with you the most? Attendees used their voice to build a community of belonging via a dot-voting activation in local offices and in the remote virtual group.
Networking Challenge: ERG Bingo
To encourage community within offices, we developed a networking challenge to help folks get to know ERG members and teammates that have participated in ERG programs.
Feedback and Results:
A total of 425 people participated either online and/or in offices, and their comments below show the range of impact that the program had.
It was great to see GPJ support diversity through the ERGs. I thought the concept of the empty chair was powerful and can be used in our event planning.
I appreciate my employer making these efforts to have these ERGs and make them an important initiative. Of course there were a lot of great takeaways, but something that stuck with me was just hearing specific examples of ways POC are impacted that I never heard before – headsets that didn’t work with their hair type or auto hand sanitizers that didn’t recognize their skin color. Just very mind blowing and eye opening to remember how even such small items can have a huge impact on someone. I appreciated this
What a great group we have at GPJ – all around. The Belonging was felt.