ALA Rally of Support
From the Asian Leaders Alliance community:
Last week, there were reports of Twitter Inc dissolving all its BRGs. The Asian Leaders Alliance (ALA), a network of over 600+ Asian E/BRGs, advocates, and allies from all industries, condemn this decision.
E/BRGs (Employee / Business Resource Groups) are volunteer-led, workplace-sponsored groups of employees with shared affinities, such as race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, ability, veteran status, parenting role, and more. These E/BRGs exist to drive workplace wellness, diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and corporate social responsibility, while also serving as a think tank to improve the company operations. Twitter’s removal of their BRGs sends a signal that employee wellbeing, culture, and the organization’s broader employee efforts towards diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are not a priority at the organization.
Twitter has historically been a great example of what E/BRGs can accomplish. The 11 global BRGs at Twitter have been around since at least 2012, for more than 10 years. These BRGs represent more than 3,000 employees with 66 global chairs and 80+ local leads. Together they have had a significant impact in shaping and supporting Twitter’s culture and benefits. This includes introducing a vibrant community to support employees of all backgrounds. In the last year alone, the BRGs held over 250 events. Twitter’s BRGs alone had over 2 million followers. Twitter’s business resource groups are even mentioned in the book The Power of Employee Resource Groups by author Farzana Nayani as an example and model for how ERGs can be operated effectively. The loss of these E/BRGs will create loss for the culture at Twitter as a whole.
While significant changes are to be expected during the transition of a company’s ownership, the removal of Twitter’s BRGs has a disproportionate impact to historically marginalized people. These are the very communities that E/BRGS exist to support, people who have leveraged the power of safe spaces and shared experience to build a more inclusive and equitable company.
ALA expresses deep sympathy for Twitter’s BRG members, followers, and the communities these BRGs previously served and upheld.
ALA firmly believes in the importance of E/BRGs as drivers of support and safety for historically marginalized people, and engines for organizations to fulfill their commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We at ALA ask E/BRG members, leaders, and allies to join us in solidarity, by signing the linked letter of support. Through signing this letter, we will collectively spotlight and uplift the importance of employee resource groups to any organization, wider communities, and society at large. We at ALA are committed to supporting employee resource group leaders at all organizations, including all employees who are experiencing layoffs. Please stay in touch with us.