In the wake of International Women’s Day, #MeToo and #TimesUp, it’s no surprise that equality for women in the workplace is a hot topic these days. From equal pay to hiring to promotion and advancement, many prominent companies are under fire for not having women’s best interests in mind, or only taking action when it becomes a scandal. So before this year’s celebration begins, we want to take a moment to recognize a few companies that are going above and beyond to proactively address gender pay gaps and overcome blind spots in women’s struggle for equality in the workplace.
Here are five companies that are putting real efforts toward supporting women and making the workplace more equitable:
HubSpot, a frequent winner of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work, brings some seriously female-friendly benefits packages to the often overworked industry of marketing, which includes 16 weeks of paid parental leave and family planning benefits, flexible and remote work arrangements, and unlimited time off. HubSpot is also one of only 20 percent of companies with three female board members and has put a lot of resources into its “How to Become a Board Member” microsite, which features advice on how to become a not-for-profit or corporate board member.
IBM has been promoting women in the workforce for decades now — or centuries, if you want to count their first female hire in 1899 — but one of their biggest achievements came with the announcement of female CEO Ginni Rometty in 2012 and CHRO Diane Gherson in 2013. The company was also named a 2018 Catalyst Award winner for leadership in advancing women in business, specifically focusing on technical women’s career development and advancement.
Bain & Company, this year’s #1 Best Place to Work, has also been hard at work helping women in the workplace. The Boston-based company offers eight weeks paid parental leave for all new parents, as well as a number of benefits around fertility and adoption services. The company also supports the advancement of women, mothers and parents by offering flexible schedules and employee-resource groups for parents and caregivers. A reported 66 percent of women at Bain are in formal mentoring programs focused on advancement.
Bon Secours Virginia Health System was recognized by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) as a Top 10 Not-for-Profit for working moms because half of the registrants in the hospital system’s high-potential executive program called Next Generation High Potential are women. The not-for-profit was also recognized in 2018 for having flexible benefits for moms and parents because, in most jobs, employees caring for dependents are able to move from full to part-time to on-call working hours without penalty, and paid leave, medical and dental benefits are provided for employees who work as few as 16 hours per week.
As the company makes strides towards eliminating unconscious bias in the workplace, it’s worth noting that Starbucks is 10 years deep into the process of ending pay differences among employees and last year announced it has achieved 100 percent pay equity for women, men and underrepresented minorities. The company has also increased the opportunities for full- and part-time employees to have access to health, education and paid sick leave benefits.
This list is a great start, but if you want to make a difference and advocate for women in your workplace, consider asking your organization to take the pay equity pledge or analyze its own gender pay gap.