When referring to the world’s emerging markets, most people first think of Brazil, Russia, India, or China. However, what if the world’s biggest emerging market were not a country, but rather a demographic?

Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy, wrote a piece on the Harvard Business Review’s website saying that women are actually the world’s biggest emerging market. She cites that in developing nations,

Women’s earned income is growing at 8.1 percent, compared to 5.8 percent for men. Globally women control nearly $12 trillion of the $18 trillion total overall consumer spending.

One driver of this, she notes, is that the majority of tertiary degrees are now being awarded to women. As women become more educated and a larger part of the workforce, companies are seriously considering ways to manage that diversity to harness their top talent.

Corporate Voices for Working Families has long advocated for flexible workplace arrangements (FWAs) as a key way businesses can best engage employees and help them have a healthy work-life balance. Studies have also shown that FWAs have a positive impact on worker productivity, engagement, loyalty, and retention, which benefit a company’s bottom line. As women continue to raise and care for their families while playing an ever-bigger part in the workforce, FWAs become an integral way they can be successful both at home and and work.

At a time when the workplace is increasingly changing, Corporate Voices and its member companies are embracing the “new normal” by implementing family-friendly policies for their workforce. Corporate Voices has recently published two new flexibility toolkits, which help both managers and employees implement a flexible workplace arrangement.

The toolkit for employers provides them with a guide, worksheet, and tips for successfully designing and implementing a flexibility program, and the toolkit for employees is designed to help them talk to their managers about requesting flexibility arrangements.

Corporate Voices encourages businesses and organizations to use the toolkits, and even re-brand them for their own use. Please contact Corporate Voices if you are interested in receiving the toolkit files electronically to re-brand them, or if you would like to receive a hard copy in the mail.