At the Wills Group, the diversity of our people is our greatest strength. As we expand our family of businesses – Dash In, Splash In, and SMO Motor Fuels – inclusivity remains at the forefront of our operations. Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), namely Women of Wills (WoW) and Families in Motion (FiM), are a testament to this commitment.
In just a few years, these ERGs have become integral to our inclusive culture. They embody our core values, champion diversity, and ensure every employee feels valued. More than mere support groups, they highlight the symbiotic relationship between personal fulfillment and business success. Through these ERGs, we’ve cultivated an environment that not only values individual experiences but also resonates with the diverse communities we serve.
In this blog we’ll introduce our ERGs, discuss their roles within the Wills Group, spotlight their recent activities, and share how they align with our broader business objectives.
The Role of Employee Resource Groups at the Wills Group
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups formed around shared characteristics, experiences, or interests. Whether based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, veteran status, or other unique life experiences, these groups provide a platform for members to connect, share, grow, and support business initiatives.
Alongside these connections, members benefit from both personal and professional development opportunities, building camaraderie through learning and social events. They also lead or participate in community outreach initiatives, either as part of our established Community Engagement programs or by spearheading new efforts that align with the group’s mission and the broader goals of the Wills Group.
According to Rayma Alexander, the Director of Corporate Communications & DEI at the Wills Group, “The work of the ERGs is very much aligned with Wills Group’s DEI strategy such that building a great culture, hiring and retaining diverse talent, developing people, and forging meaningful relationships in our communities are the North Star for ERGs too.”
The primary objectives of Wills Group ERGs include:
- Professional Growth: Through training and workshops, our ERGs promote career advancement and skill development.
- Networking: They bring like-minded individuals together, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.
- Cultural Awareness: ERGs enhance understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and backgrounds, enriching our organizational culture.
- Employee Engagement: ERGs bolster camaraderie, ensuring every member feels valued and heard.
- Community Outreach: Our ERGs actively participate in community events, reinforcing our commitment to serve the communities where we live and work.
McKinsey notes that 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies utilize ERGs, emphasizing their role in the workplace. These groups not only foster a sense of belonging but also align with business objectives and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) goals. While ERGs are primarily employee-led, their success is contingent upon formal company support. The willingness of companies to invest in ERGs reflects their recognized value in enhancing employee engagement, recruitment strategies, and overall organizational growth.
At the Wills Group, we wholeheartedly invest in our ERGs, acknowledging their vital role in enhancing employee satisfaction and driving positive business outcomes. They don’t just support our employees – they elevate the entire Wills Group experience.
We are proud to champion two Employee Resource Groups: Women of Wills (WoW) and Families in Motion (FiM). Both groups exemplify our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, serving as beacons for other ERGs and setting the tone for our broader organizational culture.
Women of Wills (WoW) Spotlight
The Women of Wills (WoW) ERG is dedicated to empowering the women of our organization. With a clear mission to champion women’s leadership and growth, WoW has been instrumental in creating a supportive environment where professional women can thrive. Members can discuss challenges, celebrate achievements, and collaborate on initiatives that promote gender equality both within and outside the Wills Group. From mentorship programs to community outreach, WoW is at the forefront of championing women’s rights and opportunities.
Mission & Vision: At its core, WoW aims to foster an environment where women are recognized, celebrated, and given equal opportunities. The group’s vision is to create a platform where women can share their experiences, challenges, and triumphs, thereby enriching the Wills Group’s culture.
Key Activities: WoW organizes events that resonate with its mission. From Brunch & Learns, to panels with women in leadership positions, to speed interview training to help women brush up on communication skills, WoW cultivates an environment of women-led empowerment and success.
Impact: The influence of WoW extends beyond the confines of the organization. By promoting women’s empowerment and leadership, WoW has not only enhanced the company’s internal culture but has also positioned the Wills Group as a leader in gender equity within the industry.
Families in Motion (FiM) Spotlight
Understanding the diverse needs of our employees, the Families in Motion (FiM) ERG was established to support working parents and caregivers. Recognizing the unique challenges they face, FiM offers resources, support, and events tailored to the varied needs of our employees and their loved ones. Whether it’s hosting family-friendly events or providing resources for work-life balance, FiM ensures that our employees feel supported in every aspect of their family lives.
Mission & Vision: FiM’s mission revolves around generating policies and resources that cater to parents, caregivers, and families. The vision is clear: to create a positive impact on families, ensuring they feel supported and valued within the Wills Group.
Key Activities: FiM has been proactive in organizing events that cater to the needs of working parents. From Lunch & Learn sessions about college savings plans to workshops on mental health, FiM ensures that parents and caregivers have the tools they need to balance work and family life.
Impact: FiM actively engages in community events, such as representing the Wills Group at the Pride Festival. In partnership with Women of Wills, FiM is collaborating on the development of scholarship programs for working parents and caregivers. These initiatives highlight our dedication to families and position the Wills Group as a community and industry leader.
At the Wills Group, we envision a workplace where every employee feels they truly belong, where they see themselves reflected at every level and in every corner of our organization. Our Employee Resource Groups, from Women of Wills to Families in Motion, are instrumental in bringing this vision to life.
These groups are more than just platforms for shared experiences; they are the heartbeats of our commitment to fostering a sense of inclusion and community. As we move forward, we remain committed to an environment where everyone is empowered, where diversity is celebrated, and where every voice shapes our collective success.