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Employee Resource Groups Empower Organizations, Teams, and Individuals

benefits of employee resource groups

By Synopsys Inclusion and Diversity Team

It may not be rocket science—or semiconductor science!—but hearing, seeing, and valuing your employees is a simple recipe to inspire their engagement. One way to nurture a culture where people are heard, seen, and valued is to create a safe space of community, founded on shared experiences—a space to network and form a more inclusive and dynamic future that will benefit everyone. Synopsys Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) provide such a space. And these active communities at Synopsys are helping us nurture inclusion and diversity at all levels.

According to research done by USC Marshall Center for Effective Organizations (CEO), “By creating affinity groups around identity, interest, or other shared traits, companies actively encourage deeper involvement by the workforce, which has not only a positive impact on culture, but also strategy and performance. In fact, studies show that companies with engaged employees outperform those without them by a whopping 202%.”

For a large organization like Synopsys, it’s about getting everyone engaged at the table, and our ERGs are helping with that. They provide an opportunity for cross-pollination of ideas and expertise in different aspects of the business within a context of community. These groups are also for allies, those who don’t necessarily identify with a group but support it. They are self-organized and there is room for new groups to form, take root, and grow.

Read on to learn about our current ERGs along with insights from our employees.

Pride (LGBTQIA+)

The Pride ERG strives to foster an inclusive and affirming space for LGBTQIA+ people within Synopsys and the industry and communities in which they work. They provide community, support, advocacy, and empowerment opportunities to LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies. They promote education and increase awareness of the concerns and contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community and help to attract, retain, and develop LGBTQIA+ people at Synopsys.

“What drew me to this role was the ability to be a voice in the room when we’re talking about inclusion and diversity…to ensure that other people are given a platform to have further integration into the business that they already operate in as their full selves.…The fact that we are able to say, ‘You know what, it’s time.’ We need to take that step forward, and we need to recognize that our people need more.” – Maatia Rickard, co-lead, Pride ERG, senior manager, resource management

“I’ve worked in places where I haven’t felt comfortable being out, because it didn’t feel safe or good for me professionally. Because I know how unpleasant that is, I wanted to help build a space where people are welcomed, affirmed, and able to be open about who they are without any hesitation.” – Martin Tobias, co-lead, Pride ERG, senior manager, data science

Very Inclusive Black Employees (VIBE)

The VIBE Network is committed to cultivating a business environment that attracts, mentors, develops, and encourages Black employees to reach their full potential. They strive to engage in, strengthen and transform their local communities and to inspire a new generation of technology leaders. Their mission is to create an environment of inclusion and awareness, foster positive engagement in the community, and positively impact Synopsys business goals.

“For me, getting involved had to do with making changes and understanding that we could play a role in creating a safe place to talk. With George Floyd and the protesting over the last couple years, there has been a need for a place to talk about what’s happening for Black people, and not just for Black people, but anybody. We may not all share the same opinion, but now at least there’s a place to talk about it. It inspired me to get involved and think about what else we can do….” – Mark Sutherlin, VIBE co-lead, senior manager, information technology

“I’ve been involved in inclusion and diversity at Synopsys for a few years…. I remember receiving emails saying that it was really interesting to hear my perspective and background—It was a lot different than other people’s backgrounds. And I didn’t really think about that. I think it’s important to share various perspectives, just to make Synopsys a community.” – Ron Duncan, VIBE co-lead, senior manager, applications engineering

La Comunidad (LatinX)

La Comunidad increases awareness, leadership opportunities, and representation for LatinX employees while creating an environment that supports LatinX cultural identity. Through education, advocacy, and community building, they partner with universities, professional associations, and the communities they operate in to help engage and recruit LatinX employees.

“Being a woman of color, you just don’t see a lot of role models, and I think sometimes people try to put you into a box. They say, ‘Hey, you can do this kind of work,’ and they don’t see that you can do so much more…for me it’s about helping others to break down the boundaries of their box, to empower them to do any kind of work they want to do.” – Simone Souza, co-lead, La Comunidad ERG, director of media and analyst relations

“2021 was a very difficult year…. My father passed in January and he’s of Mexican descent… then my mom passed in May, and she is also of Mexican descent. It was through writing their eulogies and learning about their past that it made me realize what my heritage means, the struggles that they went through to enable me to be where I am today…. I wanted to share that. It’s what has inspired me to increase Hispanic awareness at Synopsys and grow a bigger community.” – Dan Guilin, co-lead, La Comunidad ERG, director of R&D

Women Impact Network (WIN)

WIN’s mission is to brand Synopsys as an employer of choice by recruiting, mentoring, developing, and retaining talented women worldwide. Their global approach to women in leadership will provide an engaging platform where women can leverage and share knowledge, best practices, challenges, and development opportunities in hopes of inspiring the next generation of girls to become women in technology leaders at Synopsys.

“…once you start moving up the ladder, then there are fewer women….I was able to develop best practices to manage…. And I am sure there are many women leaders who have their own recipes for solving these issues. I thought: Why not create a forum to make sure that we pass these learnings to the people who are coming up? That’s why we started the Women Impact Network…” – Latha Venkatachari, executive sponsor, WIN ERG, vice president, applications engineering

NEX-GEN (Early Career)

NEX-GEN aims to be a platform for young leaders and has a mission to engage early career hires through a unified experience which enables them to connect, invest, and innovate. This community cultivates a culture of ONE Synopsys with a focus to bring our early career talent together, where they can build connections, expand their networks, and be energized to see that they have a future full of possibilities at Synopsys.

“NEX-GEN is a plethora of ideas and energy which will provide a platform for aspiring leaders to connect, find a sense of belonging, and achieve a common goal” – Gayatri Nayak, co-lead of “Competency Building ” pillar of NEX-GEN ERG, security services associate consultant

The Future of Employee Resource Groups at Synopsys Is Wide Open

ERGs are already sparking creativity on a project-level as well as more strategic aspects of the business. When you add it up, you get innovation for the company, an increase in recruitment and retention, more professional development opportunities, and an inclusive environment. Ultimately, all of that together increases productivity and profitability for the business while fostering a rich and thriving community.

Learn More

Get additional insights into what life at Synopsys is like from these previous blog posts: