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Women Inspiring Women to Grow Their Careers

Women Inspiring Women to Grow Their Careers

This is part of a series highlighting GM Financial’s team member-led Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). The mission of these groups is to serve as a resource for employees, to ensure professional development among members and to positively impact the community by achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace. Each ERG is a grassroots initiative created and managed by employees, for employees.

For Women’s History Month, we are focusing on the first ERG established at GM Financial, which served as the template for the others that followed, the Women’s Inspiration Network (WIN). Celebrating its seventh anniversary this year, the WIN group was created to develop and retain female talent through networking, education and community investment.

WIN assists women by enabling job advancement and movement into leadership positions. By empowering women to flourish in the workplace, they believe all GM Financial team members benefit.

Inspiring women through development

Past North America (NA) Chapter Chair Erica Robinson, who has been with WIN since 2017, passionately describes WIN’s mission as “inspiring women to be better, inspiring women to be competitive and inspiring women to be empowered to take a look at owning their own development.”

To ensure that women have the encouragement and tools to progress in their careers, the WIN committees bring in different guest speakers to cover a variety of topics for members, including work-life balance, the hybrid work environment, managing finances and overcoming biases.

WIN’s goal is for the community of women to envision and imagine their careers progressing at GM Financial. A few of WIN’s 2024 goals include:

 

·         Networking more internally and with intentionality

·         Sharing more stories and resources to increase engagement with new members

·         Offering opportunities to develop executive presence and emotional intelligence

·         Enhancing professional development through mentorship and training

·         Increasing male and female membership through allyship

 

Male allyship is a continuing priority

In 2021, GM Financial announced its aspiration to have more women and professionals of color in senior leadership positions by 2025. To help achieve this, WIN has a priority to encourage more male membership in the group.

Erica put an emphasis on increasing male membership since she knows allyship can help propel the company further and faster: “[We should] encourage men to help us grab a seat at the table and invite us over.”

Having the support and involvement of men can help women achieve more by amplifying their viewpoints and encouraging women to take charge. In 2023, 55% of promotions at GM Financial were women, with two to executive seats, but there is still more progress to make.

“As the chair for WIN-NA 2024, my goal is to continue supporting our strong women in the workplace,” says Daniela Maria Cantu Rodriguez, Team Leader over customer accounts in San Antonio Operations. “To inspire them to be better, to feel empowered and to focus on themselves.”

Community matters more than ever

One of the work challenges that developed globally since 2020 is having employees scattered across different locations and working remotely, which can create a physical barrier that stops some team members from feeling engaged. To remedy this, WIN has had to be innovative, using a variety of communication channels to expand their reach, grow the network and feel valued.

“WIN is evidence of how important and powerful it is to create a network working toward a common goal,” Daniela explains.

Everyone at WIN works together to create a safe space for colleagues across departments and job levels, as well as geographic spaces to meet and inspire each other to grow. Investing in these relationships through intentional leadership and sharing content that resonates is an ideal way for companies to create an environment where people want to work and excel.

“We can’t forget what people have done for us who have helped us get where we are today,” Erica says. Giving back, she says, is a way to recognize and reciprocate that support.

 

If you would like to help us on our journey to invest in an inclusive and thriving culture, check out our open positions.

Jessica Llanes
By Jessica Llanes, Cadillac Financial

Jessica Llanes is an off-road adventurer, EV enthusiast and bon vivant raised in New Orleans. When she’s not traveling, she enjoys sharing a homecooked meal with friends, curling up with an Agatha Christie novel, or binge-watching classic episodes of Top Gear (or Top Chef).

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