The bonds that we form with our colleagues at work help us feel more connected with each other, the institution, and our community at large. But Duke is a large and complex institution, which can seem overwhelming or isolating for many. As part of our mission to attract and retain a diverse and talented workforce, we are committed to helping connect people who have similar backgrounds and experiences to provide a more supportive and inclusive experience in the workplace. 

Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) can help expand the opportunities to establish these important connections. ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups whose aim is to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with the organizations they serve.

These groups are started and maintained by interested team members and their allies. Each ERG will create a charter and have an executive sponsor to help guide and advocate for the group.

The charter for each group must also define a purpose that describes how it will support and advance Duke’s mission and values. Applications will be reviewed by a steering committee of diverse leaders from across the University. Approved ERGs will also receive financial support for group activities.

Leaders for each ERG will also sit on an ERG Advisory Council to share ideas and best practices, as well as receive leadership training and support.

How to Join an Existing Group

Visit the website for the following groups to learn about attending an upcoming meeting or joining the group. 

Note: in order to ensure consistent expectations and standards for all ERGs, pre-existing groups need to go through the application process to receive support as an university-recognized Employee Resource Group.

Existing Groups:

University ERGs: 

Duke University Health System Affinity Groups:

How to Create an ERG

If you’re interested in starting an Employee Resource Group, review the ERG Interest Form and ERG Charter Template, which will explain the requirements and operating principles. You can also review the Beginner's Guide to Launching an Employee Resource Group for tips, suggestions, and resources to consider when creating a group. 

The process includes completing an application, finding a small group of initial volunteers, identifying targeted members, preparing a mission statement and goals, and identifying an executive sponsor. New groups often start small, with a core team of dedicated and interested employees, and grow over time through word of mouth and with help from Human Resources.

Employee Resource Groups Information Session

Frequently Asked Questions

No, ERGs are volunteer-run groups that elect their own officers, plan their own activities, and communicate with their members. Duke Human Resources offers training and resources to groups to support their success in achieving their goals.

No, Employee Resource Groups are open to anyone with an interest in participating, including allies and supporters.

Financial support is available for approved ERGs. Requests for funding must be made in advance and accompanied by detailed plans for activities and how they support the charter and mission of the ERG. Request must also include cost estimates/quotes for projected expenses.

While fostering a sense of belonging and community is certainly a core aspect of ERGs, they are more than just a social gathering. ERGs are designed to bring people of a common identify or affiliation together to support a specific need, goal or strategy of the institution. ERGs have unique perspectives and experiences that can help an institution address shared goals and priorities.

Nothing changes for existing groups unless they want to opt-in to be part of the university-sponsored ERGs. In order to ensure consistent expectations and standards for all ERGs, existing groups would need to go through the application process to receive support as a university-sponsored Employee Resource Group.