BigTime ERGs: Empowering Employees, Building Community and Sparking Joy

Employee resource groups are driving inclusion and connection at BigTime Software.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on Jun. 28, 2024
BigTime ERGs: Empowering Employees, Building Community and Sparking Joy
Photo: BigTime
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When Ishani Kejriwal joined BigTime Software as a learning and development specialist two and a half years ago, the software company had one employee resource group — Women at BigTime. Fast forward to today, and BigTime boasts four vibrant ERGs: Women at BigTime, BIPOC at BigTime, LGBTQ at BigTime and Sustainability at BigTime.

These ERGs are the heart of the company and help power a culture pumping with energy, inclusivity and a commitment to belonging.

Kejriwal recalls the early days of forming new ERGs fondly.

“We took the success of Women at BigTime and built a structure that we could expand into other communities we wanted to support,” she said.

 

 In celebration of International Women’s Day, a group of BigTime employees enjoyed a wine tasting event hosted by the Women at BigTime ERG
BigTime Software

 

This expansion wasn’t just a top-down initiative. It involved elevating passionate team members who were eager to build communities, and each group secured an executive sponsor to provide mentorship and networking opportunities.

“Our CEO himself is the sponsor of our LGBTQ at BigTime, which is such a demonstration to the deep executive commitment we have to our ERGs,” she said. 

This executive commitment is one key to BigTime’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, alongside intentional planning and initiatives and a commitment to belonging.

“Three of our four ERGs are led by top executives, fostering support from the top down,” Kejriwal added. “Despite their busy schedules, they actively sponsor ERG programming, open their networks, and organize events. This complements our peer-led ERGs, which build community and engagement at the grassroots level.”

 

ERGs at BigTime

  • Sustainability at BigTime is integrated into all office operations, fostering a culture of environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic resilience.
     
  • BIPOC at BigTime is dedicated to fostering a workplace environment that celebrates and champions the unique experiences, perspectives and contributions of Black, Indigenous and people of color employees.
     
  • LGBTQ at BigTime embraces diversity, equality and inclusion for all employees regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
     
  • Women at BigTime is committed to advancing the professional and personal growth of women.

 

Community in Action

According to Kejriwal, the main challenge faced by BigTime’s ERGs is often too many ideas fueled by a deep passion for building community.

“We spend a lot of our meetings ensuring we don’t overwhelm the team with too many events or messages,” she explained.

The solution has been early calendar planning and a variety of events to help keep the ERG communities and commitments balanced and celebrated through the year.

One standout event was a lunch and learn for Pride, covering the history of the Pride Parade and the history of drag. The event included poignant reflections on allyship and the realities of being LGBTQ in the United States.

“The lunch was fabulous, catered by a local LGBTQ-owned restaurant, and the presentation was both educational and fun,” Kejriwal reminisced. “The event reminded me that DEI is truly a whole-team effort. People genuinely want to empower their communities. They want to be involved, and when given the tools and opportunities, they step up.”

Jake Stempel, an implementation specialist, also recalled this event fondly.

“It felt like our company had a positive reaction that I haven’t seen before in a corporate environment. Employees were genuinely interested and asked many questions, showing their openness and genuine care,” he said.

 

Three BigTime employees get ready to celebrate Pride month! 
BigTime

 

At BigTime, ERGs are more than just groups; they are lifelines of support, connection and growth, according to Director of People Lauren Hill. They foster meaningful discussions and bring together a diverse mix of community members and allies. By prioritizing intersectionality, ERGs ensure that all voices are heard and valued. 

“BigTime is a global organization, with offices in Chicago, Boston, Phoenix and Poland,” Hill told Built In. “Our ERGs have helped us to stay connected and promote our authentic selves at work. It’s been awesome to watch our employees share their cultures, their experiences and just build deeper personal connections with each other.” 

The Women at BigTime ERG, for instance, has facilitated connections that have led to career growth and mentorship opportunities. One young member connected with several mentors across the organization, helping her pursue a cross-functional move she was interested in.

“This network of support creates a shared sense of ownership and commitment to the thriving of our community, where everyone knows they can seek advice and extend a helping hand to others,” Kejriwal said.

 

Creating Change and Advancing Possibilities

According to Stempel, the investment in ERGs goes far beyond individual growth at BigTime. With leaders meaningfully involved, ERGs are able to help create organization-wide change as well.

“These groups provide a platform for employees to voice their perspectives, organize events and advocate for change. Our company’s leadership actively engages with ERGs and incorporates their feedback into decision-making processes, demonstrating a genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion,” he said.

 

The team enjoyed painting inspirational canvases for a local women's shelter at an event organized by the Women at BigTime ERG.
Big Time

 

BigTime’s slogan, “We Move Your Business Forward,” applies not only to their customers but also to their employees. DEI is a critical part of this growth.

“Think of your career development as the business of you — at BigTime, we want you to feel like you’re accelerating in your journey. Just as we design our products to help companies scale efficiently, we strive to create an environment where our employees can grow and develop as they scale in their careers,” Kejriwal explained. “DEI is a critical part of this growth. Diversity builds resilience, protects against groupthink, fosters innovation and ensures we reflect our increasingly diverse customer base. Our commitment to diversity makes us stronger and better prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world, both as a company and as individuals.”

 

“Think of your career development as the business of you — at BigTime, we want you to feel like you’re accelerating in your journey.”

 

BigTime’s focus on outcomes ensures that employees feel they can be their authentic selves at work. Diversity metrics and surveys are important, but the real measure of success is whether employees feel a sense of belonging and authenticity in their roles.

The process of suggesting, forming, and integrating new ERGs at BigTime is highly supportive and employee-driven in order to ensure the communities are well-supported and sustainable. Prior to formation, employees submit proposals that include a committed lead and executive sponsor. Once active, the ERG leads are required to organize educational and social events annually and facilitate monthly discussions on Slack.

“We believe that ERGs play a vital role in fostering an inclusive and supportive workplace culture,” Kejriwal said. “They provide a platform for employees to connect, share experiences, and support one another, enhancing both personal and professional growth.”

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by BigTime.

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