Senior enlisted leaders used to be a sounding board and a source of guidance for subordinates. The Navy apparently has lost confidence in or doesn't value its senior enlisted mentors, because it's initiating yet another contrived program to circumvent them.
A 9 July 2010 Navy News Service article discussed so-called Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). This unnecessary initiative, copied from industry, takes Navy professionals away from their core responsibilities when we can hardly afford it in terms of manpower or money.
According to Vice Admiral Mark Ferguson, the Chief of Naval Personnel, ERGs are used by "top performing organizations in order to gain broader perspective on policies and practices desired by or affecting employees." If this is so, then the Navy has had such groups for over 100 years in the form of Chief Petty Officers Messes across the Fleet. Having senior enlisted leaders dedicated to these exact goals is what sets the military apart from industry.