4 Ways to Create Workplaces Women Won’t Want to Leave

ROULA AMIRE

Author

ROULA AMIRE

Author

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If you want to recruit and retain this important demographic, follow in the footsteps of the Best Workplaces for Women.

Great Place To Work USA have undertaken research showcasing some interesting statistics on women’s experience in the workplace, these statistics are similar to those experienced around the world, including here in Australia, so regardless of location – the four steps below can help any organisation with some tangible steps toward supporting women in the workplace.

The majority of women in today’s workforce are recruitable.

Fifty-four percent of working women say they are open to a new job in the next six months, according to a July 2022 Great Place To Work® market research survey of nearly 4,200 workers. One in 10 women said they’d like to leave their job, but don’t feel they can.

The typical U.S. workplace is not meeting the core needs of women in terms of fair pay and promotions, and healthy emotional cultures, according to the survey.

That’s a stark difference to what women experience at companies on the Fortune Best Workplaces for Women™ in 2022 list, where gender gaps across nearly every measure of the employee experience are nearly nonexistent. And where a staggering 90% of women say they plan to stay at their jobs a long time.

“We see gender gaps decrease at great companies because they’re creating great cultures for all employees,” says Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work.

“The good news is any company can create cultures that support women and help them thrive, regardless of whether they are in the executive suite or the frontline, whether they are boomers or Gen Z, African American or Asian American, or any specific demographic groups and related intersections,” he says. “But it takes consistent and dedicated work.”

Great Place To Work determined this year’s list by analyzing data from more than 1.2 million anonymized employee responses, of which more than 640,000 were from women at qualifying companies.

Workers at these 125 winning workplaces are not quietly quitting — if you’re in the camp who define this trending phrase as “disengaged workers who don’t go above and beyond at work.” Rather, 92% percent of women from the Best Workplaces say people are willing to give extra at work compared with only 50% of women at a typical workplace.

“The good news is any company can create cultures that support women and help them thrive, regardless of whether they are in the executive suite or the frontline, whether they are boomers or Gen Z, African American or Asian American, or any specific demographic groups and related intersections.” – Michael Bush, CEO, Great Place To Work

Creating equitable cultures will help you remain competitive and better positioned to take advantage of the hiring pool. But you’ll have to compete with the best companies.

 

Here’s where to begin:

1. Meet the baseline of fair pay and promotions.

Fair pay, arguably the most basic need of any worker, is one of the biggest disparities between genders at a typical workplace: 45% of women report fair pay compared with 56% of men. At Best Workplaces, 81% of women say they get paid fairly, with no significant difference compared to their male colleagues.

Similarly, less than half (45%) of women at average workplaces report fair promotions — 8 percentage points lower than men — compared with 83% of women at Best Workplaces (and no different than men.)

“These workplaces work hard to support women as much as men because they understand that equal pay and growth opportunities attract great employees and increase their loyalty and pride,” Bush says.

Women are 40% more likely to stay at their jobs when paid fairly.

Twice a year, Slalom Consulting (No. 7 on the large company list) reviews whether employees with similar roles, experiences, and performance are earning equal pay using independent third-party experts. The consultancy began sharing pay equity updates with all employees in 2020.

PulteGroup (No. 32 on the large company list) created a “Dynamic Women in Leadership” video series that features Pulte leaders sharing their career risks, journeys, and challenges to help employees understand that they can achieve anything they want.

 

2. Offer a healthy psychological workplace.

In addition to fair pay and promotions, an emotionally healthy culture was the third biggest area women struggled with at typical workplaces: 49% of women characterized their workplace as psychologically healthy compared with 54% of men.

At Best Workplaces, nearly 9 out of 10 of women report working in a psychologically and emotionally healthy workplace — showing no significant difference compared to their male colleagues.

Healthy workplaces give employers competitive advantage. Women are 50% more likely to stay at their jobs and twice more likely to help recruit if they feel their workplace is emotionally healthy.

Intuit (No. 12 on the large company list) offers robust mental health resources that include mindfulness webinars, wellness programs, fitness offerings, and a $1,300 reimbursement for U.S. employees’ expenses that align with physical, emotional, or financial well-being. And the entire company shuts down to recharge during the last week of December.

“These workplaces work hard to support women as much as men because they understand that equal pay and growth opportunities attract great employees and increase their loyalty and pride.” – Michael Bush, CEO, Great Place To Work

 

3. Provide meaningful work.

Great Place To Work research reveals what drives women to stay at their companies. There are many factors, but purpose tops the list.

That said, employers might be tempted to skip ahead to meaningful work and think that will benefit women. But purpose must be built on the core foundation of fair pay and promotions.

Women are three times as likely to stay in their jobs if they believe their work has special meaning and is “not just a job.” Women are not unique in this respect. Purpose is the No. 1 retention driver at great companies by industrygeneration, and geography.

Senior leaders at Credit Acceptance (No. 36 on the large company list) included employees’ thoughts and ideas when drafting a refined vision and purpose statement. These conversations created greater connection and inspiration, and provided an opportunity for employees to put their fingerprint on statements that will live on at the company.

Hilton, No. 1 on the large company list for the fourth year in a row, sponsors educational programs and networking events like “She has a Deal” — a platform created by Hilton franchisee owner, Tracy Prigmore, that focuses on creating ownership opportunities for women through education, networking, and mentorship.

 

4. Support women wherever they work — remote, onsite, or hybrid.

Some leaders want workers to return to the office, while others plan to remain remote or adopt a hybrid approach.

For women at an average U.S.workplace, one isn’t better than another, according to a Great Place To Work market survey.

There is no significant difference for women in how supported they feel with work-life balance between hybrid, onsite, and remote work. Work location is not a panacea for work-life balance support. Location itself is not a fix.

Women working remotely have the best experience compared with hybrid or onsite workers when it comes to fair pay and giving extra to their work, but struggle with feeling like they make a difference (53%) compared with onsite workers, who had the best experience with this at 63%.

Fair promotions are challenging for remotely working women. Forty percent say their company gives out fair promotions compared with 43% of onsite workers and 49% of hybrid workers.

And when it comes to purpose, more women working onsite or on a hybrid schedule feel their work has special meaning compared with remote workers. But employees who work onsite are less likely to feel their workplace is psychologically healthy.

Interestingly, there is no significant difference for women in how supported they feel with work-life balance between hybrid, onsite, and remote work. Work location is not a panacea for work-life balance support. Location itself is not a fix.

Each approach has its own challenges and benefits, and you can create a great workplace for women regardless of where they work.

“There’s not a one-size-fits all in today’s workplace, and there never has been,” Bush says. “Companies need to understand where women need support — and meet them there.”

 

Get named to a list

Find out how your company can become Great Place To Work Certified and apply to this or other Best Workplaces lists

ROULA AMIRE

Roula Amire is the content director of Great Place to Work®. Roula has 20 years of experience as a journalist and leading company culture and corporate communications content. She has written extensively about employee engagement, well-being, purpose, and other aspects of workplace culture. Her expertise in storytelling, content strategy, writing and editing help elevate the mission of Great Place to Work.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/roulaamire

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Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2024 Evaluation Methodology

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2024 Evaluation Methodology

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces for Women™ List Methodology

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2024 Evaluation Methodology

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.