ERGs encourage you to come as you are: Blasticians introduction
We formalized our employee resource groups, or as we like to call them Elastician resource groups, in 2021 but they’ve been a part of the culture at Elastic since 2016. They’ve since evolved into more than just their original Slack channels, and are formal groups focused on community, learning, and much more.
Each ERG is ensured structure, budget, and ultimately, a voice based on any dimension of diversity, identity, allyship, and advocacy. We feel this was important in framing our global diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.
The groups are aligned to shared identities, interests, affinities, or allyships with a goal to create a community of people with something in common and to encourage sharing, learning, and networking. They are also all working towards building a sense of community and belonging within their shared experiences.
Our Core ERGS
We have seven formal ERGs: The Accessibles, Blasticians, ElastAsians, Elasticians Unidos, Rainbow Stack, Mil-Asticians, and Women of Elastic. We’ll be spotlighting them over the next year as they relate to culture or commemorative events and holidays.
Who are the Blasticians?
Blasticians was the first of our ERGs to formalize and is for people of color and their allies. Shantel Drew, Program Manager, Employer Brand, is the ERG lead for the group. As a Black woman in tech, she wanted a support system and to bring more Black people into the industry. But, she’s gotten so much more.
Even before Blasticians was a formal ERG, Shantel wanted to bring people together and educate others. In the summer of 2020, after George Floyd’s murder, she organized a lunch and learn program and asked other people of color to share their stories. Elasticians attended from around the world. “I felt like people really came together,” Shantel says.
Now, as an official ERG, they’re able to have an even greater impact. “It’s rewarding to have other employees reach out after events to give kudos, but it is even better knowing that the stories told, touched hearts”, Shantel says. They’re also a great resource employees can leverage as peer-to-peer to help them navigate certain issues.”
For Black History Month, the group has a variety of events planned including a fireside chat and virtual game night celebration. They are also hosting a historical figures event focused on contributors to Black history in the past and present. Additionally, there are two in-person volunteer opportunities for those that live near New York City or San Francisco.
“We want to do something for the community,” Shantel says.
The workplace team will also make sure that Black-owned businesses cater lunch at Elastic’s various offices throughout the month.
These types of events are aimed at bringing Blasticians together. The group’s goal is to foster a community within Elastic and make sure group members feel comfortable and like they have a family, Shantel says.
To do that, Blasticians hosts regular monthly meetings that help attendees get to know each other better by using ice breakers and light prompts to get people talking. They meet virtually, so Elasticians around the globe can join and have access to people with shared experiences.
Blasticians also work to bring more Black people into tech, specifically at Elastic. To do that, the group met with leaders on engineering teams that had a below average number of Black employees and helped to source talent on LinkedIn, Shantel explains.
Since Blasticians formalized, they’ve been successful in partnering with Engineering and Recruiting to increase the representation of Black Elasticians.
“I’ve seen our efforts actually work and have more Black people get hired,” Shantel says.
As YOU are starts here. Join the team at Elastic.
Updated on February 1, 2023; originally published on March 1, 2022.