To provide an opportunity for their ERG leaders to learn from each other—as well as those from neighboring corporations—Ingersoll Rand launched its first ERG Summit on their campus in Davidson, North Carolina. More than 145 employees, chief diversity officers, business leaders, and customers attended the inaugural North Carolina ERG Summit.

The two-day summit brought corporate customers and ERG leaders together to share best practices, conversation, and learnings from their own organizations. Day one of the conference featured a diversity panel discussion led by board members from various companies, including Ingersoll Rand’s Theodore E. Martin. Day two was designed solely for Ingersoll Rand leaders, and discussions focused on the company’s strategic direction and how to align the ERGs work to business goals.

The 2013 ERG Summit helped raise awareness of ERGs internally, while also increasing community partnership with neighboring corporations and civic organizations. As a direct result of relationships created at the ERG Summit, the Ingersoll Rand Women’s Network co-hosted a networking event with Lowe’s Home Improvement in February 2014. The Asian and Black ERG leaders also created working partnerships with the local chambers of commerce and the National Urban League to focus on readiness and business workforce development.

For Brooks Thurston, senior talent acquisition partner and member of the steering committee for GOL, Ingersoll Rand’s Hispanic ERG, the Summit proved invaluable.

“For ERGs like GOL, which is fairly new, the summit provided a great opportunity to hear what community organizations and ERGs in other companies were doing, what activities they were involved in and what struggles they were going through,” she said. “Every participant came away with ideas on how to get more of our employee population engaged.”

The 2013 ERG Summit was a milestone event for Ingersoll Rand, marking the success the organization has achieved relative to diversity and inclusion progress and acting as a catalyst for what the