USA Today: Women are talking and these companies make them happiest

Although women make up roughly half the workforce, complete gender equity in the workplace is still a long way off. If current trends persist, on average women won’t receive equal pay until 2059, and that progress is even slower for women of color.

Even with the rise of sites like Glassdoor and Monster, many women are still left wondering exactly how prospective employers handle gender-specific issues in the workplace like family leave and pay equity.

To find out, female job seekers are turning to Fairygodboss, a job review site exclusively for women. The site provides crowd-sourced intel on how female-friendly company policy is at thousands of businesses.

The 2-year-old start-up just released its 2017 rankings of the best companies where women are happiest. Companies with the top rankings:

  1. Boston Consulting Group
  2. Dell
  3. Accenture
  4. PepsiCo
  5. General Electric
  6. Salesforce, Deloitte, PwC
  7. Vanguard Group, Apple
  8. American Express
  9. Kaiser Permanente
  10. Thomson Reuters

The rankings were based on the responses from almost 15,000 women about overall job satisfaction, gender equity and likelihood of recommending their company to another woman.

The data is pulled from the anonymous job reviews that Fairygodboss uses to create company profiles.

“One of the reasons we have this ranking is because our social mission is to improve the workplace environment for women,” said Georgene Huang, CEO and co-founder of Fairygodboss.

“Our intent is for employers to learn from what companies at the top are doing right.” she continued.

Huang said she sees companies rise in the ranks when they make a concerted effort to promote more women into leadership and improve work-life balance.

At Boston Consulting Group (BCG), this year’s winner, hiring and promoting more women has been a priority for more than a decade. In just five years they were able to increase the number of women in their North American firms by 70% and raise women’s retention rates to be equal or higher than men’s.

“Getting women in the door is the first step, and then we really focus on ensuring that we are supporting women along the way,” said Michelle Russell, partner lead for Women@BCG, a program focused on improving women’s experience at the company.

BCG was able to close the retention gap through programs like Women@BCG and the Apprenticeship in Action initiative, a direct response to feedback from women who said they were dissatisfied with the level of mentorship available to them. Russell said the company also stepped up its recruiting of women and improved flexibility policies to make the company culture more inclusive.

Gender equity is an uphill battle

Women, particularly women of color, face a unique set of obstacles in almost every industry.

Men are 30% more likely to be promoted than women, which results in a disproportionate amount of male executives, according to a survey from Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.org and the McKinsey consulting group.

“When women say their company doesn’t treat men and women equally, that’s the No. 1 thing they point out,” Huang said.

BCG found that the lack of mentorship was one of the major factors contributing to gender disparities in senior management. Through the Apprenticeship in Action initiative, the company was able to boost female promotion rates by 22% among senior managers.

Russell explained that while surrounding pieces like flex time and equal pay are important, improving the day to day experience is crucial to retaining women in leadership.

Another issue that has drawn national attention is the wage gap. On Equal Pay Day this year, women still only made 82% of what men are paid. For African-American and Hispanic women, that percentage drops to 68% and 62% respectively, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The wage gap not only exists within occupations but also between occupations. Men tend to dominate higher paying jobs that require similar qualifications to lower paying, female dominated fields.

Huang said women bring up equal pay slightly less frequently than unequal promotion because the information is a lot less visible. Women simply don’t always know if they’re being paid fairly.

Women also often bring up their employer’s family leave policy in their job reviews. Fairygodboss was actually born out of the challenges Huang faced when she was two months pregnant and hiding it from her employers.

“During my interviews I really wanted to ask about maternity policy and what the path for leadership was for women, but I felt like I couldn’t for fear of looking less committed to my job,” she said.

When Huang couldn’t find any helpful information online about company policy related to women, she and colleague Romy Newman created Fairygodboss.

Improving parental leave and flex time policies is key to supporting women and men in the workplace, according to Russell.

Birth mothers at BCG can take up 16 weeks of family leave, and any employee can take two months of unpaid time off with full benefits. Employees can use this “Time for You” for anything, whether it be extending family leave or learning how to horseback ride.

“I wanted to take a step back, so I took a leave to nanny my best friend’s 3-month-old in Juneau, Alaska,” said Russell. She used this time to reflect on her future at BCG and decide if she wanted a family of her own.

When she eventually did have children, Russell capitalized on BCG’s flex time policy to help integrate her work and family life.

“The firm has always been really supportive,” she said. “And the flexibility extends well beyond when you have small children.”

At any point, employees have the option to work at 60% or 80% capacity while receiving reduced salary and tenure credit. Russell worked at 80% capacity for about six months after her first daughter was born before coming back full time. She recently returned to 80% capacity to spend more time with her two kids and her best friend’s daughter, who is now 12, while they’re on summer vacation.

Although big companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Netflix have publicly improved their paid family leave policy, millions of Americans still aren’t offered any time off after the birth or adoption of a child.

In fact, 1 in 4 women go back to work just 10 days after childbirth according to a report from PL+US Paid Leave for the United States. The Family Medical Leave Act gives women 12 weeks job-protected unpaid leave, but only 12% of U.S. non-government workers have access to paid family leave, according to the Department of Labor.

When it comes to family leave, women face consequences no matter what they do. Researchers at the University of Exeter found that women who take maternity leave were seen as “significantly less competent,” and those who don’t were seen as less caring parents.

Still, Fairygodboss’ message is a hopeful one.

“There are things you can do, there are ways you can improve,” Huang said. “We just want that to be the major takeaway.”

Associations Now: A Path for Gender Parity in the C-Suite

Men and women are equally qualified to lead, but what’s going on when nearly all new corporate leaders are men? A recent informal study suggests a path to parity.

Talking about differences between men and women leaders is a tricky business. Nobody wants to lean on generalizations about how different genders handle C-suite jobs; “women are like this” and “men are like that” commentaries is the stuff of bad 80s stand-up comedy routines. But look at the leadership gap when it comes to gender, and it’s hard not to wonder if there are distinctions.

Consider: According to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers, just 3.5 percent of the incoming CEOs of top global companies in 2016 were women. (That’s up from 2.8 in 2015, so, green shoots?) And once women reach those positions, there’s the compensation gap to deal with, which has existed in the association world just as it does in the corporate world.

So when I heard that Matthew McCreight had recently given a talk at a women’s leadership conference titled “What Women Can Learn From Effective Male Leaders,” it was easy to find the title a bit condescending—but also relevant.

Based on a recent report on the event at Entrepreneur magazine, a more relevant and less provocative title for the talk might have been, “Common Blind Spots Among Male Leaders.” McCreight interviewed 31 women leaders, and those conversations surfaced issues about gender roles that often don’t get raised. For instance, he recalls the case of one woman senior staffer: “The CEO had staff meetings every Monday at 8:00 am, so she had to bring her nanny to her house every Sunday night so that she could get out of the house and get to that meeting. So finally after a number of years, she was asked how it was going, and she said, ‘This thing is killing me!’ The CEO offhandedly said, ‘Why don’t we move it to 10?’”

Who’s at fault there—the male CEO for failing to consider the complex family lives of his VPs, or the female VP for not being more up-front about the issue? In perfect world, both sides would give the matter due consideration. But in the world we’re actually in, McCreight argues, women need to take the lead in highlighting the issues that a relevant to their careers, and play more offense in general. Much of the advice he received from the women he interviewed are of the take-ownership-of-yourself variety: “Don’t be afraid to make decisions”; “Don’t wait to be asked”; “Don’t be wishy-washy in what you want to know. Male leaders love to be asked to give advice.”

Good advice—to an extent. After all, asserting power is meaningful only so far as you’re in an environment where asserting that power is respected. A report last year on women in the workplace from LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Co. pointed out that women who negotiate for promotion and raises are 30 percent more likely than men to be told that they’re “bossy,” “intimidating,” or “too aggressive.” In too many work environments, “don’t be wishy-washy” is guidance that can carry negative consequences.

The good news, according to McCreight, is that male leaders seem to be getting it. He says many of the women who responded to his survey said, “the best male leaders don’t fit the stereotype, and instead show more empathy, a quality that is more often associated with female leaders.” But an environment where men project more empathy, respect, and—let’s say it—fair compensation and treatment of women doesn’t have to be a dream where people wait for the appropriately aware male CEO shows up. It can be built into the organization’s system.

For instance, McCreight advocates that organizations emphasize hiring for senior positions by using diverse teams that reduce the biases of the CEO or other leader. “We have a team of people to hire them, so we don’t just have a myopic view of whether I like somebody,” he says. “We look for people who are different, and bring them in and mentor them and help them along.”

Beyond that, women who aspire to the top job, or jobs near it, will still need to assert power in ways that are clear and up-front. As I wrote last fall, it’s an approach that has had some success. While there may not be a stereotypically “male” leader, it’s still a world of predominantly male leaders—and understanding the dynamic that creates is a first step for both genders to have more opportunities to be better at their jobs.

What does your organization do to promote gender parity in leadership roles? Share your experiences in the comments.

(source: http://associationsnow.com/2017/06/a-path-for-gender-parity-in-the-c-suite)

Huffington Post: Startling Results Of A Recent Gender Parity Survey Draw A New Frame Around An Old Picture

It’s puzzling with the vast amount of research demonstrating how corporations stand to financially benefit from achieving gender parity in their top-most ranks, very few companies in the United States have actually made gender diversity in the boardroom and C-suite a top priority. In fact, in the S&P 500, “only 17” companies have 40% or more women on their boards. A recent survey of more than 500 U.S. business executives commissioned by the Women’s Forum of New York has shed new light on the issue – a disproportionate number of women executives recognize the “problem of gender parity” versus men executives who don’t believe there is a problem.

 

At first glance, incongruences between men and women about the status of gender equality may seem conspicuous. But it isn’t until we take a closer look at these new survey results that we truly start to understand how the stark differences between the way male business executives and their female counterparts perceive gender parity–especially in the boardroom and C-suite–reinforce the glass ceiling and stagnate the advancement of women to the highest-ranking corporate leadership positions.

According to the survey, only half of all business executives believe gender inequality in the boardroom is a problem, and among those who do, an overwhelming majority are women (74%) versus men (43%).

 

Another area where the survey showed a significant divergence between men and women executives was whether or not there were enough women leaders in the pipeline for companies to achieve boardroom diversity. A preponderance of the women executives surveyed (72%) reported that they believed there was a sufficient number of women leaders available to reach gender parity, while men executives (49%) were far less likely to agree. This is particularly concerning given that reaching gender parity at the board and C-suite level requires that executives actively seek out women for leadership roles. This becomes an increasingly elusive goal if top leaders erroneously believe the proverbial well is dry. Perhaps one of the most shocking survey results was that twice the number of men than women believed that gender equality in the boardroom and C-suite had already been achieved. This glaring lack of understanding contributes to the barriers that women still face today.

 

While it’s easy to assume that such an alarming disparity reflects a lack of understanding or an unwillingness of men to recognize the potential contributions women can make to corporations, in reality, many of these decisions are the results of unconscious bias. Without even knowing it, both men and women can perpetuate a cycle of inequality simply because of learned behaviors. Preconceived ideas about what leadership “should” look like and who ought to occupy certain roles often is at the root of gender inequality in the workplace. Though this behavior is often unintentional, it is just as detrimental to women’s path to the boardroom.

 

Beyond just understanding these problems, concrete steps toward solving them need to be taken. That means ensuring senior executives, regardless of gender, are taking individual responsibility for creating opportunities for gender diversity. Yet the survey showed that may be a steeper climb than we may have anticipated. Results indicated that less than half of men executives (48%) believe they have any obligation to help women achieve gender parity in the boardroom. Conversely, women executives (61%) believe they have a personal responsibility to help women achieve gender parity in the boardroom. In order to make a significant change in the corporate structure it’s imperative that we collapse this divide.

 

Thankfully, there is one place that consensus exists among business executives: the bottom line. The survey reflects that gender parity in the boardroom strategically makes sense to sustain profitability. In fact, the survey showed that overwhelmingly the number of executives (78%) agreed that parity in the boardroom was good for business. Yet this result is patently counterintuitive to the rest of the survey outcomes, as the majority of men do not see gender parity as a priority! The lack of gender parity in the boardroom and C-suite is costing corporations money – a price paid by shareholders and unfortunately, a price paid by women not being at the boardroom table. While there seems to be a long road ahead for women to achieve parity at the top, there is a solution in sight! A number of senior executives are taking the bull by the horns, or staring it down, as the “Fearless Girl” does, the statue that State Street Global Advisors installed by the Wall Street Bull on this year’s International Women’s Day. Initiatives like these increase awareness about the absence of women on boards and C-suite levels, raise the corporate stakes for those in leadership, and challenge individuals to step up to make diversity a primary strategic business objective. The first step to solving any problem is recognizing there is a problem! This is why we need data like the Women’s Forum of New York’s new survey, which puts the issues in perspective and helps educate top decision-makers about the challenges to bridge the gap between the different perceptions between men and women. The reality is clear – with 80% of the board seats filled by men, there is an equality problem!

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/startling-results-of-a-recent-gender-parity-survey_us_5900c8d0e4b0768c2682e1ed

eyeforpharma: Where are the Women?

Why does Paul Simms, chairman, eyeforpharma, think gender parity is important? Read the below communication from 24 March entitled “Where are the Women?”

Gender parity in the workplace isn’t about to happen. It’s 170 years away, according to Kathrin Schoenborn-Sobolewski, a VP at Merck and president-elect of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, echoing a World Economic Forum report.

We need to speed up.

But why do I think gender parity is important? Well it’s not because I’m nice, or because I’m a woman (I’m neither), but because if we’re to fully deliver on patient outcomes, we must be representative of our patient population.

Every patient needs to be able to look at the company making his or her medicine and say: “there is someone running that company who represents me. Who understands me. Who knows me.”

So I was personally disappointed that only 20 percent of our speakers at eyeforpharma Barcelona last week were women, despite best efforts. This must change. We can help accelerate that change by tackling the myriad of barriers that stand in the way. In support of International Women’s Day on 8 March, we published:

Until next time,

Paul

Paul Simms
Chairman
eyeforpharma

Quartz: A new statue stares down Wall Street’s bull. How she got there speaks volumes about gender norms in the workplace

State Street’s young girl statue stares down Wall Street’s Charging Bull, but her story reveals the fear that holds women back at work — Quartz

On a December morning in 1989, New Yorkers woke to find a new fixture in their city: A bronze sculpture in the shape of a bull, installed overnight by a rogue artist.

Nearly three decades later, on March 7, New Yorkers woke to find that the iconic “Charging Bull” of lower Manhattan has company: A defiant young girl, feet planted firm with arms akimbo.

The new sculpture, by Kristen Visbal, was installed by asset management group State Street Global Advisors, in a bit of clever marketing well-timed for the March 8 celebrations of International Women’s Day. It makes for a great photo op, and sends an important message about female empowerment. But the story of how it got there epitomizes a problem that has long held women back in the workplace.

The original bull was stealthily placed at the New York Stock Exchange by sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The Italian artist wanted the bull to celebrate the “virility and courage” of the American people after the 1987 Wall Street crash. The NYSE removed the bull the afternoon after it was put up, but the sculpture had garnered enough media attention that Arthur Piccolo, chair of the Bowling Green Association, had taken notice.

He enlisted the help of New York’s then-mayor Ed Koch and parks chief Henry Stern, and together the three men intervened to give the bull a permanent home at Bowling Green, an historic patch of land at the tip of Manhattan island, just a few blocks from Wall Street. The Charging Bull quickly became an icon of the city’s financial district, and of the markets themselves.

The new statue, in contrast, was erected with consent from the city. No act of guerrilla sculpture, it is a feel-good public relations stunt, the artistic embodiment of a corporate campaign to address gender inequality in corporate leadership positions. And it got there by asking permission first.

The simple act of getting permission is emblematic of a need, shared by many women, to have 100% approval rather than boldly striding forth with an idea.

More than one survey has shown that women won’t apply for jobs they’re not certain of being completely qualified for. A KPMG 2015 survey asked women about the lessons they learned growing up. At the top, 86% responded “be nice to others,” and 85% learned to “be respectful to authorities/elders.” Near the bottom of the list: “Share your point of view.”

The girl symbolizes the future, says the group in a press release. That may be so, if the future looks like the past—with girls who are taught to ask for permission, rather than acting first and getting forgiveness later.

State Street’s young girl statue stares down Wall Street’s Charging Bull, but her story reveals the fear that holds women back at work — Quartz

The original bull was stealthily placed at the New York Stock Exchange by sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The Italian artist wanted the bull to celebrate the “virility and courage” of the American people after the 1987 Wall Street crash. The NYSE removed the bull the afternoon after it was put up, but the sculpture had garnered enough media attention that Arthur Piccolo, chair of the Bowling Green Association, had taken notice.

He enlisted the help of New York’s then-mayor Ed Koch and parks chief Henry Stern, and together the three men intervened to give the bull a permanent home at Bowling Green, an historic patch of land at the tip of Manhattan island, just a few blocks from Wall Street. The Charging Bull quickly became an icon of the city’s financial district, and of the markets themselves.

The new statue, in contrast, was erected with consent from the city. No act of guerrilla sculpture, it is a feel-good public relations stunt, the artistic embodiment of a corporate campaign to address gender inequality in corporate leadership positions. And it got there by asking permission first.

The simple act of getting permission is emblematic of a need, shared by many women, to have 100% approval rather than boldly striding forth with an idea.

More than one survey has shown that women won’t apply for jobs they’re not certain of being completely qualified for. A KPMG 2015 survey asked women about the lessons they learned growing up. At the top, 86% responded “be nice to others,” and 85% learned to “be respectful to authorities/elders.” Near the bottom of the list: “Share your point of view.”

The girl symbolizes the future, says the group in a press release. That may be so, if the future looks like the past—with girls who are taught to ask for permission, rather than acting first and getting forgiveness later.

State Street’s young girl statue stares down Wall Street’s Charging Bull, but her story reveals the fear that holds women back at work — Quartz

The new statue already seems to be captivating tourists and passers-by in New York’s financial district. Will city authorities rally on her behalf as they did three decades ago for the bull she’s now staring down?

“We’re actively pursuing that it stays for a month,” a spokesperson for State Street told Reuters. “If the city decides that it should stay in perpetuity, we’re absolutely on board with that.”

Source: https://qz.com/927578/state-streets-young-girl-statue-stares-down-wall-streets-charging-bull-but-her-story-reveals-the-fear-that-holds-women-back-at-work/

 

Healthcare Organizations Joined Millions of others on Twitter to Celebrate Women’s Achievements in the Life Sciences

As International Women’s Day activities occurred around the world on Wednesday, 8 March, pharma companies and other healthcare-related organizations joined millions of others on Twitter to celebrate women’s achievements in the life sciences. JanssenUK, PfizerCanada, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Sanofi, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Pfizer, GSK, and AbbVie were among the many pharma companies that showcased their female leaders. According to Twitter, more than 7.5 million tweets were generated regarding the day. Social media optimization company RiteTag reported #InternationalWomensDay was used at a rate of almost 30,000 unique tweets per hour; #IWD2017 and #BeBoldForChange racked up more than 5,000 and 2,000 tweets per hour respectively. RiteTag estimated more than 347 million eyes viewed the tweets. There were also many more related hashtags used, such as #4GenParity by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). Pharma tweets included photos of female leaders featuring their accomplishments, or leaders encouraging women to pursue STEM careers, for example.

In preparation for International Women’s Day, the HBA held a Tweetchat featuring Carolyn Buck Luce, executive in residence, Center for Talent Innovation, and author of “Reimagining Healthcare: Through a Gender Lens,” on Monday, 6 March. Between the Tweetchat and the HBA’s International Women’s Day Summit, the official HBA hashtag #HBAimpact reached 3.4 million impressions for a total of 12.2 million year to date impressions.