It’s March and that means we’re nearing the end of the first quarter of 2017. It also means we’re in the midst of Women’s History Month and recently recognized International Women’s Day. As a woman-owned company, we want to dedicate this edition of our monthly round-up to all of the hardworking women who make so much possible for themselves and those around them.
Since the U.S. is basically the only developed nation in the world that does not guarantee paid leave after the birth of a child, it's up to individual employers to determine whether they will offer anything above the unpaid six weeks required by law.
As a result, just 13 percent of American women receive any kind of paid leave through their employer, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Yet research links maternity leave to higher employee retention. Google, which was one of the first major companies to offer an extended maternity leave to six months in 2007, concluded that the rate at which new mothers quit was cut by 50 percent thanks to the improved policy. At my company, we've found a direct correlation between women's overall job satisfaction and the amount of maternity leave taken.
The finance and technology industries are not known as bastions of gender equality. Both have traditionally been male-dominated. And both have made efforts to address the perceived imbalance, especially in recent years.
Those efforts may be working, although they still don’t bring finance and tech in line with industries that have a longer history of female leadership.
The Fairygodboss mission is to improve the workplace for women. Since 2015, we've provided a free and safe platform for women to share their workplace experiences authentically. On the Fairygodboss platform, hundreds of thousands of women anonymously provide advice to each other about what their jobs are like and whether their employers are supportive of women. As a consequence, we've amassed a tremendous amount of unique, proprietary data which we plan on summarizing each year in an annual report.
Our 2016 inaugural report features 50+ pages of data and content from women in our community, as well as third-party research that has been published during the year from other reputable research organizations.
Find out what we have discovered from women (and men) themselves about the 9 areas of focus for employers to improve their recruitment and retention of women.
Today is International Women’s Day, which has been observed annually for over 100 years to build awareness about issues of gender inequality. This year people are marking the day by striking, marching and sharing social media stories of inspiring women and their achievements. State Street commissioned a bronze statue that was installed on Wall Street, calling on companies to improve female representation on boards. They note that less than 1 in 4 companies in the Russell 3000 Index have female board representation. The statistics are even worse when you look at venture capital.
But don’t despair. Incredible societal change can occur in the coming decades, with the rapid shift in marriage equality being one recent example. Whether you’re a millennial, a VC, or anyone in between, here are a few suggestions on how YOU can promote gender equality in the workplace.
One of the best things you can do for the bottom line is to foster an appreciative relationship with your employees. Here's how to make it happen:
Most leaders agree that employee attitude is a key factor in an organization's success. Whether your employees are fulfilled and motivated or frustrated and disengaged is largely up to you.
To keep employees fulfilled, productive, and engaged--and reduce the expense and disruption of turnover--make sure you're incorporating these nine principles into your leadership every day.
Do you have news or insight about employer branding, talent or culture to share? Want us to include it in our monthly update? Contact us below.
Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad) is a Principal Employer Brand Strategist for exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm building employer brands and the talent strategies that drive them through research, consulting and creative and digital execution. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research and recruiting strategy offerings.