Millennium Trust’s Women’s Professional Network: Empowering Women in the Workplace
What better time to spotlight Millennium Trust’s internal development initiative, the Women’s Professional Network (WPN), than during Women’s History Month?
Launched late last year, WPN promotes a supportive, inclusive environment that empowers members to continually progress, lead and succeed. Open to women and men, its mission is to build a professional network that strengthens the leadership, power and voices of women in the workplace.
Prevailing Gender Inequities in the Workplace
Some may wonder why women’s professional groups are needed in 2021, when so much progress has been made. And while that is true, there is still much work to be done. In 2020, women made only $0.81 for every dollar a man made. In North America, women make up 29% of senior management/C-suite and only 28% of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce in the U.S.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also disproportionally affected working women and working moms. For many women, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant they have either lost their jobs or have left their jobs to provide childcare or other family reasons.
In fact, 275,000 women in the U.S. left the workforce in January alone, compared to 71,000 men, and women make up more than half of the seven million people considered “out of the workforce.” The consequences of this are felt across industries, and these statistics, among others, demonstrate the prevailing gender inequality in the workforce.
“I am well into the third decade of my professional career, and so much has changed. Yet, many things have made little progress,” says SVP, Director of Operations, Maribel Gerstner (Executive Committee Member and Chair of WPN Professional Skills Committee). “An employee resource group like Millennium Trust’s Women’s Professional Network can provide the support and education for women leaders to advance their careers and for allies to understand the barriers that need to be overcome.”
The Women’s Professional Network and Women Empowerment
The Women’s Professional Network is made up of different committees based on the focus areas of:
- Guest speakers
- Work-life balance
- Professional skills
Each committee puts on different events throughout the year for anyone within the firm to participate in, and provides educational tools and resources for all employees.
“WPN is important because it brings both men and women together to share ideas and experiences, collaborate, address challenges and ultimately learn from each other both personally and professionally,” shares SVP, Regional Director, Custody Services, Tom Kurinsky (Executive Committee Member and Chair of WPN Networking Committee).
Millennium Trust is proud to be an organization that is dedicated to empowering women in the workplace. As of January 2021, 57% of employees identify as female, and 49% of People Leader roles are filled by women.
Some of WPN’s goals for this year include further promoting the group’s purpose and events across the Millennium Trust, as well as engaging outside organizations and speakers to help with career development, communication skills, wellness and building networking skills both inside and outside our organization. Maribel adds, “WPN has allowed us to establish another community of colleagues for development, inclusion and connection.”
SVP, Manager of Retirement Services Client Services, Lisa Robinson (Executive Committee Member and Chair of the WPN Communications Committee) expands, “A collaborative network like this is even more important during this time, in order to share strategies as we face similar situations. While most of us are remote, it allows us to network and connect with a diverse group that could provide support to one another professionally.”
“It’s so important for women to unify and share our successes with others,” comments Senior Executive Assistant, Operations, Tracy Lashley (Member of WPN Guest Speaker Sub-Committee). “We’re excited for what’s to come with WPN this year, especially because we all have come together to go above and beyond during unique and challenging times.”
To learn more about Millennium Trust’s company values, visit our Culture page.
The material in this blog is presented for informational purposes only. Millennium Trust Company performs the duties of a directed custodian, and as such does not offer or sell investments or provide investment, legal or tax advice.