‘Belonging Is a Feeling’ — Learn How the 9 ERGs at My Company Support the Full Person

Sponsored by Alteryx

Charita McClellan

Photo courtesy of Alteryx.

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“ERGs are very important to me and have a ‘grass-roots’ feel,” Charita McClellan, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager at Alteryx tells us. “I love to be a part of the ‘boots on the ground’ making a difference. ERGs can have a huge impact.”

At Alteryx, a software technology company that empowers business owners to leverage data analytics in decision-making, McClellan is responsible for creating and implementing DE&I strategies, as well as leading efforts to promote DE&I throughout the organization.

One of the many moving parts in her role is leading Alteryx’s ERG efforts and a series of trainings rooted in inclusivity and belonging. And, McClellan doesn’t just lead these ERGs from a distance either. She’s a member of all nine ERGs at the company (and is most active in the Woman & Allies, Alter.Q, and Mosaic Multicultural ERGs) and meets quarterly with the C-suite to discuss opportunities for improvement.

Thanks in part to her efforts, the Alteryx ERGs are greatly successful and reflect the overall culture at Alteryx by allowing “employees to feel like they can show up as their best, most authentic selves, to feel like their voices are heard and that they are supported by their peers,” McClellan tells us.

Here, we caught up with McClellan to learn more about what impact ERGs have at Alteryx, other ways the company supports DE&I and why it’s a great place for women to work. Here’s what she had to say.

Tell me a bit about how ERG’s work at Alteryx.

ERG Leaders meet monthly with the DE&I manager and quarterly with the CEO. They each have their own cadence on how often they meet with their membership and how frequently they hold programming, volunteering and professional development events. Each ERG holds at least two company-wide events per year. We encourage cross collaboration amongst the groups and track attendance at our events as well as membership. Our ERG leaders also host ERG expos and present during the onboarding process to increase visibility.

What have your ERGs accomplished that you’re most proud of?

I love the autonomy that our ERGs have. They bring strong programming and important discussions to our organization.

For example, the ERG Women & Allies has developed robust programming that is inclusive of allies and has garnered leadership’s participation and buy-in quite easily. Their Alter.Talks series (a TedX style event) has been quite successful. They also assisted with the addition of some of Alteryx’s benefits.

There’s also Alter.Q. I know there is a lot of discussion around rainbow washing, but [this ERG member boasts that] allies are loud and proud in showing their support for me. Alter.Q partnered with Alteryx to change the logo for the first time in 2021 and then again this year, which was beautiful to see.

In addition to ERGs, does Alteryx offer any professional development programs like leadership, mentoring and returnship programs?

We have the Emerging Leaders Program, which provides an opportunity for growth for anyone who has indicated an interest in people leadership. It focuses on the fundamentals of leadership and contextualized concepts. 

We also partnered with SOAR to provide leadership development to Women in Sales. We are in the process of launching a new pilot program that will allow women to shadow executives in our organization. Meanwhile, Alteryx is also partnering with Path Forward, a nonprofit organization on a mission to empower people to restart their careers after time spent focused on caregiving. Together, we have built a 16-week mid-career internship, also known as “returnship,” that gives professionals a jump start back to their careers by setting them up for success through upskilling and mentorship.

In addition to helping their employees, how has Alteryx engaged with or supported communities?

We engage with the community locally, nationally and globally with volunteering events. We both organize volunteering events together and give back individually. Every employee is given 20 hours of volunteer time off that they can use at their discretion.

What do you think other companies can learn from how your company handles ERG’s and D&I initiatives?

There is a lot of focus on race and gender. While these are two very important sectors of diversity, they are not the only ones. We are focused on people holistically, which is inclusive of the non-visible characteristics as well

I think other organizations could learn to not only look at their workforce from that lens and, instead, give employees the chance to tell them who they are vs. attempting to put them in a box. Additionally, we put a lot of focus on belonging. Belonging is a feeling — the sense of security one feels in being their authentic self. How well organizations do the D, the E, and I will directly impact if employees feel they belong.

Why do you believe that Alteryx is a particularly supportive place for women employees?

Through dialogue. At Alteryx, we believe that a culture of openness and feedback leads to a better workplace for everyone. Using surveys, town halls and meetings between the women's ERG and leadership, we can check in to make sure that our benefits, culture and more are all contributing to Alteryx being a great place to work for women

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