Employee-led efforts in inclusion have a long history at Hudl—even looking back to the startup days with only a hundred or so employees, there were task forces that brought together people who had shared interests. As the company has evolved and grown, so too have the inclusive efforts. Employee resource groups (ERGs) started in 2021 and have grown even more valuable since then.
What are ERGs? They’re employee-led groups that are drawn together by common affinities, passions and life experiences, and are supported by the company. We didn’t invent this idea. In fact, 90% of Fortune 500 companies have ERGs. Insurance provider Aetna recently conducted research into the business side of ERG membership and found ERG group members are more satisfied, have more pride in their companies, rate managers higher, and are less likely to leave their companies.
Recent research on the business side of ERG membership found ERG group members are more satisfied, have more pride in their companies, rate managers higher, and are less likely to leave their companies.
For us, the framework to establish ERGs was already there—we had the Hudl Together task force that had started initiatives like roundtable discussions (to go in-depth on a social issue or topic) and watch parties (for documentaries or other films on important subjects). And we had other task forces that were already similar to ERGs, like Community Champions, but they needed more structure, oversight and support—that’s why we created a system for their organization.
In January 2021, the Hudl Together task force evolved into Together@Hudl, a committee that oversees and helps support ERGs. We established steps for those interested in creating ERGs to help them get started and budgets to help support their work. And it didn’t take long before passionate employees stepped up. More than 20 volunteers have become leaders of ERGs or members of the Together@Hudl committee over the last year.
At Hudl, we want everyone to feel comfortable coming to work as their authentic selves, and ERGs are one of the ways we can create that safe space. They’re a place to learn about social issues, get comfortable with the uncomfortable and gain opportunities for allyship, and they also provide resources for community volunteerism and connection with other Hudlies.
"[This] has been one of the most gratifying experiences during my time at Hudl,” said Together@Hudl co-chair Winston Jones. “Having an opportunity to create positive change within the company and shape the long-term foundation of Hudl's diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging journey helped me grow as a person and as a professional. I'm extremely grateful for the experience."
Hudl’s ERGs have branded logos to reinforce the valuable part they play in our organization and help their visibility and influence.
“Although it can be a seemingly small detail, it's another cementation of Hudl's effort toward supporting its ERGs and their member,”. said Pride@Hudl co-lead Christina Gibbons. “We have a visual language to accompany each ERG’s mission and purpose. For Pride@Hudl, we’re going to use our logo as a Slack emoji to bring members together, put it on t-shirts to get more people involved, and make sure the logo is visible in our physical offices so folks know they’re walking into an inclusive and safe space."
Mission: Community Champions will bring opportunities for Hudlies to get more involved on both a company and individual level through partnering with organizations that provide mentorship to youth in the community.
This ERG has ongoing partnerships set up with TeamMates and Junior Achievement to give employees a chance to work with children in their communities. Community Champions has also created a grant program called Level the Playing Field and now partners with Gatorade to help deserving youth organizations get technology for their student-athletes.
Mission: Create a safe space for women and allies to learn, share experiences, empower each other, and get involved in our communities to hold the door open for the women coming up behind us.
A priority for this ERG has been fostering an environment that welcomes women employees through mentorship, supporting local women-owned businesses, and raising money for deserving organizations like the Sports Bra Project. Hiring has been a big focus as well, with Her Hudl members joining forces with Hudl’s Talent Acquisition team to brainstorm on how to hire more women.
Mission: Facilitate an inclusive environment that fosters creativity, promotes advancement and ensures that every voice at Hudl counts. We do this by increasing cultural awareness of our community, advocating for our personal and professional wellbeing, and providing a platform to engage with the organization on matters that are important to Black Hudlies.
From social media spotlights and sponsoring Black-owned businesses during Black History Month, to book clubs on intersectionality with Her Hudl, this ERG is focused on supporting its members and providing a space for safe discussions.
Mission: We advocate for driving inclusion, increasing awareness and educating ourselves and others surrounding LGBTQ+ issues. We welcome and embrace Hudlies of all genders, sexualities and lifestyles.
This ERG’s main priority is to provide a sense of belonging to those in the LGBTQ+ community and embrace their allies. Their projects have included focuses on increasing awareness around LGBTQ+ terminology, history and current events; updating bathroom signage to be more inclusive of all genders; and providing opportunities for employees to hear directly from leaders in the LGBTQ+ community.
Mission: We advocate for all Hudlies to feel supported in the workplace to discuss mental health without stigma, raise awareness of resources available, and help everyone reach their full productive potential.
Mental health is health and this ERG is focused on making sure Hudl employees are comfortable learning more about this topic. Education is the key.
The impact of Hudl’s ERGs on its members is clear. "Being a Co-Chair for T@H really allowed me to see the big picture of where we want to be as a company on our DE&I journey,” said Together@Hudl co-chair Zach Henry. “I was able to gain valuable experience as a change agent, facilitator and leader. I also very much enjoyed working with Co-Chair Winston Jones—we probably would have never worked together in a close capacity otherwise. I gained a great working relationship and a friend along the way.
“We have some great individuals at Hudl who care very deeply for others. Knowing I work with such caring people gave me a sense of belonging and purpose and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity."
ERGs are only part of the DE&I journey we’re on as a company. To learn more about our other initiatives and goals, check out our most recent diversity report.