As mentioned, we don’t have all the answers and we’re learning as we go. However, a few core principles helped keep us grounded and guide us toward decision-making:
Leverage the values and ethos of your company. Your startup already has a mission and likely core values that drive decision-making. How can you apply them to your ERG? For example, we have the value of choosing what’s “right over familiar,” which means that we shouldn’t shy away from bucking the trend and questioning status quo if it’s what’s best for everyone.
Lean into the advantages of being a startup. Sure, you don’t have a big budget for a speaker series, but consider the advantages of your smaller size. For example, at Coda, being nimble and able to pivot quickly meant that it was relatively easy to revisit the name of our ERG.
Be open to continuously learning. Intersectionality is important! Remember that your group is about inclusivity and empathy, so you shouldn’t always default to “majority rules” if it means that a minority opinion is never heard. You should actively work to avoid things that may negativelyーconsciously or unconsciouslyーimpact minority experiences (e.g. tokenism, performative vulnerability or echo chambers).
Check back later as we add more to this doc and share our experiences. Let us know if you have any suggestions in the meantime by sending us a message at