How Can Your Business Support Women’s Economic Security?

Felicia MontoyaBlog

The goal of Women’s Economic Security is supporting equity across the board through initiatives like childcare, education, equal advancement opportunities, and support services. Empowering your female workforce through economic security will relieve employee stress and help get the best from your team.

As a Family Friendly Award Recipient, Rio Grande Credit Union (RGCU) has implemented several initiatives aimed to improve our employees’ quality of life, especially our female employees. Offering benefits such as paid time off, parental leave, and retirement makes RGCU a more desirable place to work and can make your business a desirable place to work too! This alleviates stresses that come with everyday life. In turn, this helps our team members’ morale, efficiency, and output.

A robust benefits package coupled with encouraging a healthy work/life balance for employees supports the economic security for women in the workforce.

Here are 6 Family Friendly Practices that Can Empower Women’s Economic Security:

Offer Parental Leave

Newborn babies are a lot of work, especially for first time parents. There aren’t many instances where individuals are over-the-moon happy and extremely exhausted at the same time. It’s a wonderfully unique time of coos, crying, afternoon naps, and dirty diapers.

Having a parental leave policy in place for employees can help during a very happy moment in their lives. RGCU has a better than average parental leave policy, offering qualified employees up to 6 weeks of 100% pay (up from 4 weeks). It’s important for new parents to spend those special moments with their children in order to build a bond with their new bundle of joy and get the swing of parenting. New parents through adoption also receive the same parental leave benefit. It’s also important for employees to not have to choose between being a parent and being an employee.

Support Women in Leadership Conferences and Sponsor Events

Networking events came to a standstill during Covid, which was a shame because these events are an invaluable way to meet other professionals and get the word out about your business. There’s something to be said about face-to-face interactions with other like-minded individuals and community leaders.

Businesses should not only welcome their female staff to get involved with networking events, but they should encourage it. Just to name a few, events like the New Mexico Technology Council’s Women in Technology or Albuquerque Business First’s Fall Women’s Summit support female empowerment and create a camaraderie between women leaders in our community

Foster Female Leadership

Leadership comes in many forms and styles, and it’s important for companies to foster leaders from all levels of their company. Advancing your female workforce into leadership roles is a fantastic way to support economic security of women.

Companies can do this with leadership specific programs. RGCU offers a leadership program called “Leadership Begins with Me.” It is a seven-month program designed for internal emerging leaders to take part in highly concentrated academic and practical training that teaches teamwork, interpersonal skills, and business acumen.

These types of programs can be transformative, and help build confidence, communication skills, and leadership skills. Historically, programs like this help women leaders overcome the unique organizational hurdles and biases that restrict their professional growth.

Over half of all RGCU Senior Management positions are held by women (55%). This is much higher than the national average, and something that RGCU is very proud of. In the name of equity and fairness, we offer advancement opportunities to both men and women.

Start Employee Resource Groups

Having a support group in a professional setting can be huge, especially for employees that come from a minority group. Most companies are a melting pot of diversity, so it’s important to make everyone feel welcomed and valued.

As a diverse and inclusive credit union, RGCU has created multiple support groups for our employees. These support groups include Women in Leadership, RGCU LGBTQ+, and Working Parents. Having these groups adds a level of support for our employees.

Offer Hybrid Work

Covid changed a lot of things in the working world. Companies now understand that employees can be efficient and effective in non-traditional working environments. Technology has enabled a new understanding of where and how people can do business. Offering a hybrid work schedule not only attracts and retains top talent, but it leads to better professional output. Taking the stress out of commuting, getting kids to school at a certain time, and adapting to flexible work schedules helps employees produce better work.

RGCU will implement a formal hybrid work schedule policy in 2023. This was based on employee feedback through a hybrid work schedule survey, senior management assessments, and business policy trends.

Implementing Dependent Care Flex Spending Accounts

Childcare can be a huge stressor and is a main reason why talented female employees end up leaving jobs. Employees may also be taking care of adult dependents, which come with a unique set of challenges. Implementing tools and resources to help is an extraordinary way to help your employees.

RGCU is planning a dependent care flex spending account that will help our employees if they need it. They will be tax-advantaged accounts aimed at helping with dependent care and medical expenses.

Businesses that support Women Economic Security are becoming more prevalent, but the work isn’t done. Organizations like Family Friendly New Mexico are working hard to share the value of equity and family friendly business policies. The business environment isn’t static, and the more businesses that adopt and implement family friendly policies will help businesses, employees and their families thrive.

David Miles
Marketing & Communications Specialist
Rio Grande Credit Union

David is an Albuquerque native, born and raised. He joined Rio Grande Credit Union in 2022 after spending over a decade developing marketing strategies for several local businesses. He has experience in a variety of industries including construction, information technology, advertising, and finance. In 2007, David graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in English and Communications.