How to become the Boss Lady!
Google’s leadership team is 78% male, Amazon’s is 76% male and Facebook’s is 77% male. There were only 24 women who were CEOs in the last Fortune 500. In 2015 McKinsey & Co. and Leanin.org did a study of 118 major North American companies that showed only 28% of senior managers were women. “Women remain underrepresented across organizations – especially at senior levels of leadership”. Men and women work together, but their work experiences are very different. In the new 2016 study, Leanin.org and McKinsey & Co. surveyed 132 companies. They sum up their findings this way: “In corporate America, women fall behind early and keep losing ground with every step”.
Women in the workplace are being tracked both numerically and by level of job satisfaction. There are new resources for female job seekers and those women working in companies where they’d like to improve the culture.
Women who work at companies that have a significant number of women in management and where women are treated fairly report higher levels of job satisfaction. That is a no-brainer, but how do female job seekers find those companies? Fairygodboss is an online community created by women to share experiences with and information about current or former employers. The aim is to create “transparency about company policies and culture” by sharing jobs and company reviews for women. This is crowdsourcing at its best. Women review employers on a wide range of policies – maternity leave, work-life balance and evidence of promotion to management levels. This is a YELP for the workplace. Women write anonymous reviews (but no snarkiness is allowed) of their employers and answer a series of questions.
The Muse helps all kinds of people with careers, but it was founded by three women and 65% of its users are women. It offers job listings and career advice for job seeker aged 22 – 39. It works with over 300 companies that list jobs and corporate profiles on the site. It has over 3 million active users every month. It also connects its users with professional career coaches for a fee. The coaches provide resume editing and answer questions about job searching and networking. Their goal is to personalize each user’s experience so they can get closer to their goals.
Levo was also founded by a woman and is focused on helping millennial women find career mentors, research career possibilities and access job search skills. Their goal is to help millennials build the connections they need to develop the career of their dreams. They boast Warren Buffet as a mentor.
Great Place to Work is a workplace consultant and research firm that has surveyed millions of employees and researched thousands of workplaces around the world. In 2015, in conjunction with Fortune magazine, it announced the first annual Best Workplaces for Women list. These companies create a workplace where women are involved in decisions, have more training opportunities and are paid fairly. The second annual Best Workplaces for Women for 2016 was just released a couple of weeks ago.
There is also help for women already working, but perhaps in a workplace culture that is not supportive of women or gender equality. Support for women has to be part of a company’s culture throughout the organization, not just at the top. Talking Talent develops the female talent pipeline for corporations. They coach women and their managers at all levels of business and industry sectors. Their aim is to “improve career progression and deliver clear return on investment”. They want to improve opportunities for women to succeed and they recognize that just having gender equality policies is only half the battle. Female employees need training on how to ask for what they need on the job and managers need training on how to implement policies like maternity leave.
Ginny has been invited to three different forums to hear Iris Bohnet speak about her new book, What Works: Gender Equality By Design. Iris is a Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. She makes the business case for gender equality, points out the prevalence of implicit gender bias and offers surprisingly simple, low cost techniques for eliminating bias.