When we think of great companies to work at, it’s easy to focus on the big guys. That is, we think of the companies that have become such an ingrained part of our everyday lifestyle that they need no introduction. Whether their focus is on software, technology, entertainment or just e-commerce, big-name companies easily become synonymous with “great companies.”
But that perception is largely based on the consumer viewpoint. What about the employees’ take on things? And, for our purposes here, what makes a company a great workplace for women specifically?
Determining what companies are the best to work at comes down to the criteria you use. Are you looking at the average pay and salary for employees? What about health benefits? Oh, and let’s not forget about those Instagram-worthy office perks. There are a lot of different roundups of the best workplaces, but figuring out the best companies for women requires a multi-layered framework.
Aside from nailing that “work-life balance” thing for employees, companies should show that women thrive at the company and move up into senior roles. Thankfully, Forbes recently released a new ranking of the “Best Employers For Women” in 2018.
The list has some surprising names of smaller, local businesses that don’t regularly make national headlines. And, if we look at the top employers listed, we can see that the best companies for women share some common workplace practices. Think: flexible workplaces and programs designed to propel the top women employees into senior-level positions.
How the survey was conducted to determine the best companies for women
Forbes partnered with Statista to survey employees at businesses with at least 1,000 people on the payroll to determine the best companies for women in 2018. All in all, 40,000 employees were surveyed, including 25,000 women.
Survey respondents were asked to rank their companies on things like:
- Working conditions
- How likely they’d be to recommend the companies
- Parental leave
- Pay equity
Notably, Statista and Forbes adjusted their findings for gender bias. If men ranked a place very high in one category while women at the same company gave a lower score, the values were adjusted to reflect the discrepancy.
Some of the common workplace practices among companies were:
A look at Forbes’ first-ever ranking of best employers for women suggests certain practices create workplace environments where all employees, but especially women, thrive. While each company has their own set of slightly differing policies in place, it’s worth noting that the common thread is a commitment to advancing the careers of women. And, not just that, but there are institutional practices that take into account the wage gap and the flexible workplace needs of parents.
Here are some examples of notable workplace polices and practices from the best companies for women:
- Regular reviews on pay practices
- Options for anonymously reporting concerns about compensation
- Internal organizations for women to support one another
- Professional development programs
- Mentorship opportunities
- Skills-building workshops
- Partnerships with outside organizations like: Network of Executive Women and Management Leadership for Tomorrow
- Parking spaces for mothers
- Nursing rooms
So what kind of companies are ranked best for women? Well, they vary in terms of industry significantly, including brand and organizations as diverse as: Harvard University, Sephora, Texas Children’s Hospital, Hallmark Cards, Principal Financial Group (we see you, toppin’ the charts), Levis, YouTube, and good old Avon.
Want to get employed by the world’s most women-friendly companies? You can see the full Forbes ranking here.