Creating a Cohesive Work Environment
Informal employee groups have existed at companies for years and generally consist of coworkers supporting each other and developing a sense of community around specific issues. While the concept is similar at VF, the company has taken these groups one step further to foster a culture of belonging among employees in the workplace.
At VF, the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are deeply connected to the company’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action (IDEA) strategy and bring a diverse cross-section of employees together to accomplish business-wide goals.
“Our ERGs serve as a community that champions differences and are inclusive and available to all associates,” said Lauren Guthrie, Vice President, Global Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action. “They are launched based on brand, campus or regional interests and comprise of associates who share similar goals.”
Currently, VF has three global ERGs that associates can choose to join. Led by associates and championed by VF’s leaders, ERGs foster diversity of thoughts and turn individual differences into insights and capabilities that fuel growth for the business.
- Pride is focused on creating an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ associates and allies to support and enhance authenticity and individuality. This ERG connects, engages and empowers the VF Pride community.
- Women of VF Employee Network (WOVEN), promotes women’s leadership, attracts and retains the best women-identifying talent and builds a community of safe and honest dialogue. There are nine chapters across the organization.
- Attract. Connect. Engage. (ACE) Diversity is a multicultural group focused on building an inclusive culture by providing opportunities for associates to connect with each other, build leadership capabilities and foster a sense of community for our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) employees.
In addition, within the U.S., VF’s Veteran Forces group is another opportunity for connection and engagement to ensure veterans and family members of veterans feel valued, supported and championed at VF. The Veteran Forces ERG serves as a helpful resource by creating a welcoming environment for veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce, ensuring professional development of those veterans, and supporting VF employees who have family members currently serving in the Armed Forces.
“VF’s ERGs support the rising tide of activism and advocacy,” adds Guthrie. “Our ERGs continue to create and provide a safe environment for members to collaborate on issues they care about, provide platforms where associates can connect and voice their interests, and create leadership opportunities and visibility for people at all levels.”
VF is continuing to invest in exciting and meaningful ways to further its internal community strategy and take our global ERGs to the next level.
To learn more about VF’s ERGs and our commitment to IDEA, watch this video.