The fight for gender equality in the workplace has been an uphill battle. In 2019, Melinda Gate pledged $1 billion to help close the gender gap. But what’s happening at these companies that warrants this type of drastic action? And what companies are going above and beyond to help women in the workforce? It turns out the best places to work for women all share some of the same benefits and programs.
Each year, Forbes surveys 40,000 women who work for companies with 1,000 or more employees. Their goal? To find out which companies go above and beyond to provide women with the resources they need to rise to the top.
That being said, it’s important to note that these companies offer the resources to help women succeed — though, only 23 percent of C-level jobs are held by women. Just some of the companies that topped the list last year included:
- Estee Lauder
- Quicken Loans
- The Hartford Group
Common Women-Focused Benefits
It’s not surprising that most of these companies shared some common traits. It turns out that most women are looking for similar benefits before sending out their resumes. Just some of these benefits include:
- Flexible work environments
- Flexible schedules
- Gender-neutral leave packages
- Great healthcare benefits
- Diversity and inclusion training
Flexible Work Environments and Flexible Schedules
One of the most common benefits offered by the best places to work for women includes flexible work environments and schedules.
Women are happier with flexible work schedules because they solve many challenges when it comes to diversity.
Many women are discriminated against in the workplace when they need to leave the office. Other employees often mistakenly assume their absence is related to family obligations. Allowing everyone the same flexible work schedule can ease this tension.
Flexible work schedules also help combat discrimination against people with disabilities or who live in areas without access to public transportation.
Gender-Neutral Leave Packages
Not surprisingly, most women were attracted to leave packages, too. But the exciting thing is that they weren’t necessarily biased toward maternity leave; they were more likely to be happier in a workplace that offered gender-neutral leave packages.
In this case, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Women understand the benefit of leave packages for all the sexes. Gender-neutral leave packages also cut down on discrimination because all genders can enjoy time off work for changes at home.
Great Healthcare and Benefits
When it comes to benefits, healthcare still remains important for women — and the best places to work for women all offer great healthcare packages.
In addition to good healthcare, women want a healthy work environment. If your company doesn’t offer flexible work schedules or environment (or even if you do and still have a brick-and-mortar office), you might want to consider creating a healthy in-office environment.
This may include creating a nap room or a quiet space for employees to recharge. Maybe it means creating a cafeteria with free or reduced-cost healthy meals. Perhaps you might hire an onsite massage therapist, nutritionist, general care practitioner or psychologist. Other ideas include creating an onsite gym or yoga studio or offering free bike rentals.
Diversity and Inclusion Training
Women also gravitate toward companies that offer and encourage diversity and inclusion training — for all sexes, races and cultures.
Both women and men need to feel supported and uplifted. Yet, many women feel excluded from workplace mentorships and sponsorships because they don’t belong to the same social circles as C-level employees.
Diversity and inclusion training programs encourage C-level employees to offer sponsorship for employees they might not normally associate with.
All genders, races and cultures need safe spaces where they can learn about inclusion and diversity. The companies that offer these types of programs (and encourage employees to sign up for them) are attractive to women because everyone wins when everyone has equal opportunity.