Employee Resource Group (ERG) Research

Research Opportunities

Organizations can participate in important research with CEO and Dr. Theresa Welbourne to gain valuable insights to enhance diversity initiatives. Although the current research cycle is closed, if you are interested in participating in the 2024/2025 study, please provide your contact information here.

Annual ERG Leader and Member Research

The purpose of the “ERG Leader and Member Research” study is to measure the impact of ERGs on your organization. The overall impact research has been validated and utilized since 2012 to provide organizations with data-driven insights to help ERGs set goals, align strategies to business objectives, and drive impact.

By participating, you’ll receive a report that will include data that assesses the degree to which your ERGs impact the following: Talent management, culture, and company vitality for three stakeholder groups including individuals, the company, and external stakeholders. Custom online company quantitative reports are provided to firms (and ERGs) with at least 10 or more respondents, and qualitative comment reports are provided if the ERG has 30+ respondents, all at no charge.

This research cycle is now closed. The next will begin June 2024. Organizations who participated can expect to receive reports in April 2024.

State of ERGs Research (New in 2024)

The purpose of the “State of ERGs” research is to provide you and other Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) executives benchmarking data on ERG practices. It requires DEI leaders or a designated leader that oversees all ERGs in your organization to complete an online survey. The aggregated findings will be shared with each of the participating organizations and published by the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) at the USC Marshall School of Business. You also will be invited to forums to review the data and learn how to use it to help your organization and ERGs.

By participating, you’ll receive a benchmarking report that will include the following information:

  • ERG Structure and Governance
  • ERG Funding, Technology, Goals and Rewards
  • ERG Leadership
  • ERG Executive Sponsors, Allies, and Support/Training
  • ERG Organization and Composition

This research cycle is now closed. The next will begin June 2024. The annual report will be published in April 2024.

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Sparks Taylor, Director of Corporate Relations & Executive Education, at sparksj@marshall.usc.edu.

Access Past Reports and Webinars, here.

About Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne

Affiliated Senior Research Scientist, Center for Effective Organizations

Will and Maggie Brooke Professor in Entrepreneurship and Executive Director, The University of Alabama

Entrepreneurship Institute, The University of Alabama
Founder, President and CEO, eePulse Inc


Dr. Theresa Welbourne’s work focuses on human capital and leadership strategies that drive growth, innovation and high performance. She is known for her work on employee energy and how energy, direction and confidence come together to stimulate and sustain high sense of urgency cultures and organizational growth.

Theresa runs a large project focused on employee resource groups (ERGs) and how these programs are helping advance diversity and inclusion initiatives as well as overall firm performance, innovation and growth. The work consists of research, best practice studies, the annual Summit for ERG leaders which she founded in 2012, and training for ERG leaders.

Theresa also does extensive research and consulting with initial public offerings (IPOs) and firms undergoing high change, including mergers and acquisitions. Other areas of expertise include employee engagement, data-driven storytelling, Fast HR and entrepreneurship.