Oh yes! Choosing where to work can significantly impact a woman's happiness and success. And thankfully today, there's a lot of choice. Many companies around the world offer great career opportunities, supportive employee networks, flexible working arrangements, mentoring and coaching, career acceleration pathways, leadership commitment and many monitor for equal pay. And best of all, there are lots of avenues for women to be vocal and visible as they raise their profile for future successes.
Prime employers don't confine women - ever!
Progressive companies understand and value that women are successful in their own right without having to adopt dominant qualities and social constructs. Prime employers for women understand that specific action is required to increase the diversity within companies and to support an inclusive culture. That's why at Where Women Work we make sure that the companies we work with are truly committed to women's advancement. We showcase the impressive work and achievements of women, while shining a spotlight on the companies supporting them. And we like to amplify the initiatives and achievements of these employers. We do this so women can be inspired by innovative, progressive companies.
One of the things we've been saying to women for well over the last decade is "Go to where you're celebrated". Finding the right fit is key, and often a company's values are a great place to start. Congruency of purpose is fundamental, and being part of something bigger can be very motivating.
So what does a prime employer for women look like?
Prime employers for women all exhibit a number of important behaviours and mindsets in common. So here's what they have in place and what they do.
Firstly, they always demonstrate executive leadership commitment to gender equality from the very top of the company - and it's not lip service. These leaders don't just say it - they really walk the talk through their actions, all day, every day. Virtute non verbis, actions not words!
Prime employers for women firmly embrace a culture of diversity and inclusion. They have a true and solid commitment to building and supporting a diverse workforce that values everyone for what they bring, and what they can do. Not what they look like, or how they sound, or whether they conform.
These companies forge the female hiring pipeline from early career right through to the executive level, and at every level there is visible evidence of women openly singing praise for where they work. Remember that big question that's always a good sign of whether a company is a good place for women to work or not ... "Would you reccommend to a good friend to work here?"
Flexible working isn't just for some, but for everyone
Prime employers for women value and support flexible working arrangements, and it's important to note that this is a journey - and they might not be fully there just yet, but they are trying and they do have policies and infrastructure in place to review flexible working and part-time requests on a case-by-case basis. Of course the best employers do already have this sorted, but some sectors may have been a little slower than others.
Also, it's very important for companies to provide formal avenues to address any concern of discrimination. Not that it should happen in the first pace, but there does need to be formal and confidential mechanisms in place for women to access should they be required to do so.
And hello women-owned businesses
Prime employers for women tend to go out of their way to ensure they have diverse supply chains where suppliers truly reflect the composition of modern society, their employees, shareholders and the communities they serve.
Yes, these companies actively ensure women's inclusion throughout the company, right from supplychain through to decision making. Prime employers for women definitely shy away from all-male meetings or speaking panels - or from any situation where women and their voices, thoughts and concerns are invisible.
No bias, no stereotypes
Prime employers for women always do their very best to ensure each and every piece of marketing and communication is free from bias. They represent women in accurate and appropriate ways that are free from stereotypes or limiting perceptions.
And not only do these companies value and nurture their female talent internally, they also extend purposeful support externally for women's advancement. They secure exciting and engaging partnerships where collaboration accelerates positive change. They demonstrate strong alliances with groups who hold shared values and missions. Prime employers for women are known for the benefit they bring to like-minded groups and communities. And they often support those who are supporting others.
And as we all know, what gets measured gets done. So prime employers for women always monitor the progress and outcomes of their equality initiatives and activity. And increasingly many employers are openly reporting on outcomes.
And lastly, prime employers for women participate in external validation of their progressive employer practices. That is, they enter and win awards. They're cited in the media. They have a track-record of positive recognition. They keep trying to deliver and excel.
So there's a huge difference in the quality of a woman's work life, depending on where she works. From interns, apprentices and graduates through to experienced hires, returners and executives - Where Women Work helps support and attract a pipeline of female talent for companies around the world - good companies! So take a look at women who are enjoying careers at prime employers and learn what companies are doing to ensure they're front of women's minds due to their deep commitment to gender parity.
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