Since there was no such thing as formal diversity or friendship groups when I was working, and I left that environment almost twenty years ago, I can’t even envision how they’d work. Wish I could be of some help.
Yeah, I think Diversity Groups are a recent addition to companies, but have come to play an important role in a short period of time.
Basically, I think, the theory is that as ‘Diversity’ becomes important to society, a company needs a process to make sure that the values of the many different groups are represented both inside and outside the company. As such, they encourage employees that belong to various demographic groups to participate to represent these groups within the company.
IBM has a nice write-up on what they have been doing:
Diversity Groups can be involved in any number of HR policy reviews, to employment practices, to product and marketing effort reviews. When done right, its a very nice way for companies to make sure that areas where company life and personal life touch are tailored to the specific needs of various groups.
That said, the Humanist/Atheist/Freethinkers/Brights (HAFB) is still a pretty young movement, and I think there’s a case to be made that we should seek representation within our companies as a way to make sure that issues that are important to us are well represented both within and without the companies that we work in.
Personally, I’ve gone back and forth a few times wondering if Atheists really need representation and whether we have specific needs, and we may not, but I can’t help going back to the recent Gallup poll that looked at the electibility of Atheists and help but think that we need to take our minority status more seriously.
Anyway, maybe a good question for people here might be, what would you change about a company so that Atheists’ interests were better represented? Is there anything? Christmas/Easter holiday observances? Visibility? Outreach to Campus Groups?
I know we all want more ‘Humanists Values’ employed in the Government sector, perhaps we could set the example in the private sector first.