Top-Rated Companies Reveal What Women Want from Employers

Posted By Terri Williams on February 10, 2017 at 10:56 am
Top-Rated Companies Reveal What Women Want from Employers

While women continue to make strides on the educational front – for example, more than half of law school attendees are women – progress in the workplace moves at a much slower pace. They face a number of struggles there, and what women want in a job reflects some of those battles.

According to a recent survey by InHerSight, the five factors that make an employer desirable to women are salaries, equal opportunities, maternity and adoptive leave, management opportunities, and female representation in top leadership. Here’s why those factors makes sense. A report by Bright Horizons reveals that the boss may have a role in when women start a family because these prospective mothers are concerned that having a baby may be a career-limiting or -ending move; men generally don’t face that issue.

The InHerSight survey ranks 27,000 companies based on the responses of women to determine the top overall companies and the top companies in each of the five categories.

The Top 10 Companies Overall for What Women Want

Rank Company
1 Title Source
2 Procore Technologies
3 The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
4 The Motley Fool
5 Netflix
6 Facebook
7 NetSuite
8 PayPal
9 Google
10 CEB


In addition to overall rankings, the top companies in individual categories are as follows:

Category Top 5 Companies
Equal Opportunities for Men & Women Title Source, BCG, Lush Cosmetics, Procore Technologies, Planned Parenthood
Salary Satisfaction Netflix, Procore Technologies, Title Source, BCG
Maternity and Adoptive Leave Title Source, Netflix, BCG, The Motley Fool, Google
Women in Top Leadership Title Source, Planned Parenthood, Lush Cosmetics, Katz Radio Group, ULTA Beauty
Management Opportunities for Women Title Source, Lush Cosmetics, Planned Parenthood, BCG, Anthropologie


Ursula Mead, founder and CEO of InHerSight, tells GoodCall®, “As women, we all define success and ‘having it all’ differently based on our goals, needs, life stages, and more, and we’re looking for workplaces where each of us has the best chance to thrive.” InHerSight aims to provide a place where women can rank their workplaces based on 14 factors and then use this data to match women to the companies that would be appeal to them.

Salary satisfaction and equal opportunities tend to predict satisfaction at work. “Title Source is number one for its management opportunities for women and also for its female representation in leadership, making it not just an appealing company for female job seekers but one that appears to be a great place for women to stay to build their careers for a long time to come,” Mead explains.

Working mothers

Mead also has observed an increase in the number of companies providing company support for working mothers. “In 2016 we saw a huge number of companies announce expanded paid parental leave benefits, from EY to Etsy to American Express, and I hope that trend continues in 2017.”

Although working women are seeing advances in the workplace, when viewed from an historical perspective, these changes seem to be occurring at a snail’s pace – and that’s not what women want. Lisa Kaess, founder and producer of Feminomics, tells GoodCall® that millennial women are still facing the same issues that women had to deal with when they entered the workforce 50 years ago.

“Those concerns have ripened into frustration as time has not resolved them,” Kaess says. For instance, salaries and disparities in pay are still the top concern. “In spite of the Equal Pay Act (1963) and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (2009), women working full time, year-round at the same job still are paid roughly 80 percent of what the men working alongside them earn,” Kaess laments. “Even if one outlaws outright pay differentials, it’s harder to do away with unconscious bias, ingrained cultures, and resistance to change.”

Concerns beyond wages

But wages aren’t the only issue when it comes to what women want at work. Opportunities for growth and advancement are also a concern.  “In spite of the fact that women now outpace men in graduating college and in many post-graduate degrees, they find it challenging to move up,” Kaess says. Despite three generations of women in the workplace, Kaess says that women are less than 5% of the country’s CEOs at major companies, and they occupy less than 20% of seats on boards.

“If anything, the U.S. risks falling behind, as it remains the only developed nation not to have paid family leave – and that adds up given the fact that pregnancy and childbirth can run up to $30,000.”  Compounding the problem, Kaess explains that 40% of children now grow up in households with single women or women who are breadwinners.

“These are not just women’s issues, they are of rising importance as we grapple with a shrinking workforce.” Kaess concludes, “If companies want to attract and retain talent, they need to resolve ongoing concerns by nearly half of the U.S. labor market.”

Terri Williams
Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education, U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition. Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

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