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

ROULA AMIRE

Author

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

Author

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Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work determines the list using our proprietary For All methodology. To determine the Best Workplaces in Technology list, Great Place To Work analyses the survey responses of tens of thousands of employees from Great Place To Work Certified™ companies in the technology industry.

Our survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organizational data like size, location, industry, demographics, roles, and levels. 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. Survey data analysis and company-provided datapoints are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience for all employees in this industry.

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™ and nominate as a company in the technology industry.

We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, news, and financial performance, and investigate any employee reports of company incompliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

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

The Best Workplaces for Women™list is determined using Great Place To Work’sFor All™methodology to evaluate hundreds of Certified™Great Place To Work®organisations across Australia.   

Data is based on over 40,000 employee survey responses from women in Great Place To Work® Certified™ organisations across Australia. 

The survey 

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organisation’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. 

Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organisational data like size, location, industry, and the number of women in the workforce and management positions. 

Considerations 

Great Place To Work analysed the gender balance of each workplace, how it compares to each company’s industry, and patterns in representation as women rise from front-line positions to executive/C-suite roles. 
Survey data analysis and women’s representation figures are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience and opportunities for all women, regardless of their role or demographic background.   

Eligibility   

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™. Companies must also employ at least 50 women. We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, and investigate any employee reports of company in compliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Please note this list is NOT ranked. 

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Best Workplaces™ Australia 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of almost 50,000 employees across Australia.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organisation creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organisation, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyse these experiences relative to each organisation’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organisation to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

 

Categories

These organisations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

For larger organisations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organisations to share with us their practices, policies and programs to creating a great workplace For All™ and evaluating the approach they take.

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:

1.  The criteria we evaluate

2.  Where the data comes from