Introducing our new leaders of ALKU’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) Parents Group, Senior Recruiting Director, Nate Rose, Sales Manager, Cerner, Rachel Farmer, and Senior Manager, Cash Management, Monique O’Brien! These three individuals will lead ALKU’s Parents group to new heights and further develop the ERG. This is a safe space for all ALKU parents to bond and hold discussions.
We sat down with Rachel Farmer and Monique O’Brien to hear about the future of the Parents group. Check out what they had to say below!
What motivated you to be a leader of the Parents group?
Monique: I wanted to become a leader of the Parents group because I see so much potential in what we can offer our parents and hopeful parents to help with their already stressful and overstimulated lives. It’s not easy to balance parenthood and a successful career, so being to alleviate any part of that (even if it’s just to be seen, heard, and understood) is something I am passionate about!
Rachel: I am passionate about the Parents ERG! As a mother/parent to a toddler, I have experienced many challenges and struggles knowing how to be the best ALKU employee/manager AND mom. I love having the space in the Parents ERG to talk about some of these struggles and connect with others in the company who have experienced similar things. I truly believe I can positively impact the Parents ERG by providing structure to our meetings and tackling topics relevant to employees’ parenthood journey. I want to be proud of our work in our Parents ERG, and I know I can provide value to create this!
How does the Parents group support the ALKrew?
Monique: The Parents group supports the ALKrew in a variety of ways. From a financial standpoint, ALKU implemented a Childcare Reimbursement Program to lessen the burden of extremely high childcare costs (all thanks to one of our members, Emily Collins!). We also strive to provide resources to support mental and emotional health through regular meetings, guest speakers, and healthcare benefits.
Rachel: The Parents Group is open to all current, expecting, or hopeful parents and provides a safe space and outlet for people to connect with others at work who are experiencing similar things! It truly is one of the only meetings where you feel like you are “escaping” work and building genuine friendships/connections with others at ALKU. I have gotten great advice, gift ideas, tips & tricks for parenthood… and a bunch of laughs! It’s great just to share stories and learn about others’ children.
What does the future of the Parents group look like?
Monique: We have some exciting things planned for the future! In 2023, we will be rolling out exciting new initiatives (the next one coming soon!), covering a variety of parenting/fertility content, offering more VTO opportunities to participate in as a group, partnering with programs to give back to the community, sponsoring fun company events (Example: Bring Your Child To Work Day), and collaborating with other ERG’s and the Benefits team to provide as much support as we can to our members!
Rachel: 2023 will be a big year for the Parents ERG! Our plans include more growth for the group (want to increase our membership!), rolling out new, exciting initiatives for members, covering a variety of parenting/fertility content through regular meetings, hosting an open meeting to cover the Parental Leave Policy, create a standardized coverage policy for parental leave, work closely with our Benefit Partner, Maven, to have guest speakers, offer more VTO opportunities for the group, sponsor fun company events (Example: Bring your Child to Work Day), etc.
What do you hope to bring to the Parents group as a leader?
Monique: Many things aren’t really publicly discussed when it comes to parenting (or leading up to parenthood- ex., fertility). I hope to change that narrative and help cultivate a safe space for parents and hopeful parents to discuss these fundamental issues and challenges without judgment. I hope to be a shoulder to lean on and a resource to provide members with the support and education they deserve.
Rachel: As a leader of the Parents ERG, I hope to bring great energy, new ideas, and more consistent programming to our members. I plan to listen to our members’ opinions and feedback to make positive changes to our ERG. Ultimately, I hope to bring a newfound appreciation for those in our ERG, where we can see/feel the value our group provides to ALKU parents and our community.
What is your favorite part of the Parents group?
Monique: My favorite part of the Parents group is having a community that just “gets it”. It’s nice to let your guard down and have honest conversations with folks you can confide in or get advice from. They say it takes a village, and it’s the truth! I also love when we share pictures and videos of our little ones!
Rachel: My favorite part about the Parents ERG is making connections with other ALKU employees I don’t typically see and/or interact with regularly. I have expanded my network across a lot of the different Corporate and Revenue teams, as well as across all ALKU offices. This ERG brings you closer to some people you otherwise wouldn’t really know due to common experiences you have as a Parent!
When did you initially become a member of the Parents group?
Monique: I became a member of the group in October of 2020 after I returned from maternity leave after having my first child, Brooke!
Rachel: I’ve been a member of the Parents ERG since the day it started.
Parents Group Bio:
For ALKU parents, expecting parents, or people who want to know what it’s like to be an ALKU parent.