Employee resource groups, or as we like to call them, Elastician resource groups, have been an informal part of Elastic’s culture since 2016. They started as Slack channels and were formalized in 2021 to ensure that the members would have structure, budget, and ultimately, a voice based on any dimension of diversity, identity, allyship, and advocacy. This was an important step in our global diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.
Our ERGs are aligned to shared identities, interests, affinities, or allyships. The goal is to create a community of people with something in common and to encourage sharing, learning, and networking. Each has visions and goals they are working towards besides building a sense of community and belonging.
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.
ERG Spotlight: Rainbow Stack
June kicks off Pride season, which started in the U.S and is now celebrated worldwide. It’s an important time for our Rainbow Stack ERG, which welcomes everyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+ and their allies. The group, while formed in 2021, has recently introduced new leadership and wants to expand Pride month into a Pride season and offer year-round resources, set up events in the community, and continue to develop empathy and community among members.
Cory Fairchild (he/him), a product manager at Elastic, is part of the new leadership team at Rainbow Stack. His involvement with Rainbow Stack started right away—the group was one of the reasons he joined Elastic in January 2022. He was part of a similar group at a previous employer and he knew he wanted to only work for an inclusive company that offered a resource group for LGBTQIA+.
"My brother has worked at Elastic for years and I saw how leadership upholds the 'As YOU, Are' value very authentically,” Cory said. “The Source Code wasn't just a wall poster, it's what the company is.”
Dany Johnson (they/them), a user success manager at Elastic and member of Rainbow Stack, had similar feelings when they joined in November 2021 after reading an Elastic blog post about a woman transitioning while at work.
“People are very kind and respect people’s identities and pronouns,” they said. “I wanted a safe space.”
Having a space to come as you are is the entire ethos of Rainbow Stack—and any of our ERGs. What’s unique about Rainbow Stack, Cory said, is that there are so many intersecting identities: Someone may not be out or is still understanding their identity and need a judgment free space for that; someone may be at an intersection of marginalized identities and need a support system where they can be themselves; someone might be affected by recent anti-LGBTQIA+ laws and look for peers who will help advocate for them.
“We want to provide an environment where no matter what is happening around you, you have this space,” he said. “We have people who don’t know where they fall, there’s no judgment. It’s important to have a place where you can talk to people.”
For Dany, it was a great way to meet people outside of their team. “You have something in common and can connect right off the bat,” they said. “People are active so they respond [in Slack] and you can befriend people from there and turn it into a conversation.”
For Cory and the rest of the Rainbow Stack leadership team, the goal is to continue to expand but keep the feeling of camaraderie.
They’re starting a coffee chat to facilitate connection and conversation, working to expand the resources they offer to include relevant charities and organizations, advocacy opportunities, books, media, and resources for members on identity, and planning regular events so members feel celebrated all year round.
It’s also important to the ERG leader that the needs of the group are represented in the company and to different levels of leadership.
“We hope to be able to be a bridge so that as legislation and concerns around health benefits come up that affect members, we can make leadership aware and communicate Elastic’s position with the type of authentic messages that we’ve seen in the past,” Cory said.
“I’ve seen how a successful ERG can impact me. That’s what I want to do for everyone else.”
As YOU are starts here. Join the team at Elastic.