If you’re in search of a new job, you have most likely thought about what kind of values you want your future employer to possess. Company mission and vision are increasingly important to candidates these days. If working for a company that’s supportive of women is important to you, do you know the indicating factors to look for? Here are a few features to research and explore before and during the hiring process.
Documented Evidence of Both Gender Diversity & Inclusion
An obvious place to start is exploring the company’s leadership. Are there women in the C-suite? Are there women holding roles beyond the typically-female-filled CMO and CHRO spots? What about further down the hierarchy? Do women hold positions of strategic decision-making authority? If finding a female-friendly employer is important for you, the first thing to do is see if the company employs and promotes women internally.
Benefits Are Worth a Thousand Words
Even if family-hood isn’t on your near term radar, investigate what the company’s policy is towards parental leave and if they offer other family-oriented or family-planning perks. What kind of childcare support is offered? Are there adoption or fertility assistance or female-focused health care plans? What about wellness and life balance benefits? Ask around: do employees take full advantage of these policies? Or, for example, do women feel punished for using their full maternity benefits or pressured to return to work sooner than they are ready? Does the company website tout rewards and recognition for being a great place to work for women and parents?
Internal Mentorship & Active Outreach Initiatives
Lots of companies say they are committed to developing female leaders. But do they practice what they preach? Do they financially support pro-women organizations? Are they active participants in programs locally that help young women find their footing on the path from the classroom to the boardroom? Do they invest in enthusiastically recruiting female talent? Internally, are there support groups for female employees – and do women feel safe from professional risk to belong to and attend those groups? One of the best ways to create a durable funnel of female leadership is through mentorship. Are there formalized programs centered on the advancement and development of women in the company? You want to see women being supported from entry-level to the C-suite.
A Commitment to Equitable Pay Practices Regardless of Gender
What’s the company’s reputation for equal pay? If it has historically been less than stellar, is it publicly and transparently working to change that? Has the company taken a formal pay equity pledge? Is it taking demonstrable steps to even out the pay playing field? These are some of the most important questions to ask.
Get the Skinny from Online Sources & Employees, Current & Former
To get answers to some of the questions raised above, you are going to have to do some legwork. Channel your inner detective and scour online resources for evidence that signals the character of the company you’re considering. Employer-review site, Glassdoor, is an excellent place to start. But also check out female-focused ones like fairygodboss and Inhersight, too. Be sure to go through your LinkedIn network for connections with current or previous experience at the company – there’s nothing like the perspective of a first-hand witness.
The good news is more and more employers have awakened to the power of female leadership and are working to create a welcoming, inclusive workplace. The perfect fit for you is out there – just follow the clues.