Mission and Values

Use this section to ground your work in some organizing principles.
The why is as important as the how.

  • Develop a Mission Statement

    TL;DR: Determine why your ERG exists! I know this might sound fluffy and unnecessary, but a mission statement actually frames your programming for the rest of the year, providing a north star when deciding where to focus in a sea of competing priorities and ideas.

    Let’s say you’re an LGBTQ group. Is your mission just to hang out with your favorite queers? To educate allies about LGBTQ+ history? To advocate for all-gender restrooms across your company? All of the above? Now’s the time to clarify, so everyone’s on the same page.

    💡 Q-tip:
    Your mission statement can be a living document rather than written in stone. Revisit periodically or when the group feels it’s time


  • Core Values + Code of Conduct

    A list of 3-5 Core Values can help guide your ERG and its work. Think about what matters to you, your colleagues, and your company. Start by having a no judgments brainstorm and then narrow it down to a handful that are most important.

    If you get stuck, think about sitting down with a new hire — let’s say the new VP of Engineering — how would you explain your values to them?

    Examples of core values:

    1) Respect
    2) Advocacy
    3) Protect One Another

    A Code of Conduct is a nice way of describing:

    ●  How we put these core values into action

    ●  How we expect to treat each other in our ERG


  • Example Combined Core Values + Code of Conduct:

    1) Respect

    ● One diva, one mic: One speaker at a time during meetings

    ● Ask for preferred gender pronouns:** Don’t assume

    ● Take space, make space:** Talk a lot? Challenge yourself to listen more. Quiet type? Challenge yourself to contribute 1x / meeting

    ● Lift each other up:** With kind words, affirmations, inclusive actions and warmth. Be friendly and welcome newcomers!

    2) Advocacy

    ● Confront microaggressions: Racist assumptions, transphobic remarks, general unfriendliness have no place here. These might not be intentional, but should be questioned and challenged to protect our space.

    ● Light another’s candle: We want to be more than just an insular community; let’s be a constructive and instructive resource for our company leadership.

    3) Protect One Another

    ● Defend Each Other: We don’t tolerate harassment of any kind, unwelcome physical contact; denigrating or hostile words, visuals, or behaviors; or intentional mis-gendering of individuals.

    ● Celebrate Each Other: Attend each others’ events and applaud accomplishments

    – Example: Out in Tech’s Code of Conduct


  • Make a Meeting Framework

    TL;DR: Given your mission, what kinds of meetings or events are you organizing, and how often? Consider how much money / resources you need.

    1. How often will you meet? What’s the right tempo to keep folks energized and on track?

    2. How many events will you strive to organize this year?

    3. How much funding do you need, and for what? Are meals and meeting space critical, or are folks okay with a 20 minute standing meeting in the atrium?