Have LGBTIQ+ employee resource groups been derailed?

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture


Event title: LGBTIQ+ Employee Resource Groups: Benefits, Challenges and Opportunities

While organisational attention to the topics of workplace equality and inclusion has increased, some social groups are still disadvantaged. To support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer (LGBTIQ+) employees at work, many organisations have LGBTIQ+ employee resource groups (ERGs). These groups are uniquely placed to provide a safe space for LGBTIQ+ employees, facilitate alliances between these employees and their ally colleagues, and advocate for structural changes in the organisation. The evidence base on LGBTIQ+ ERGs remains limited and partial, however, leaving a large knowledge gap on how networks function and their capacity to improve the experiences of LGBTIQ+ employees at work.

In this symposium, Prof. Anna Einarsdottir (York University) and Prof. Jojanneke van der Toorn (Leiden University) share insights from their recent research on the topic, discussing the promises and pitfalls of LGBTIQ+ ERGs and how they can be most effective. A panel including LGBTIQ+ ERG representatives will reflect on the findings, share insights from practice, and discuss how ERGs can contribute to LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion.

Keynote title: Have LGBTIQ+ employee resource groups been derailed?
Drawing on a major Economic and Social Research Council funded mixed method study into LGBTIQ+ employee resource groups with the National Health Service in the UK, this paper presents some of the key findings and explores issues around resource group membership, inclusion, how employee resource groups operate and pressure on these groups to evidence impact. The paper argues that the role of employee resource groups has shifted from supporting LGBT+ employees to championing a broader organisational agenda on equality, diversity and inclusion. In turn this raises some difficult questions around who the groups are for and what they do for members, allies, wider LGBT+ communities and the organisation, and ultimately, what is the purpose of employee resource groups.
Period19 May 2022
Held atLeiden University, Netherlands
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • LGBT+ employee networks
  • membership
  • allies
  • vision
  • network outcomes