Women account for 47.7% of the global workforce, a number that has been steadily declining since 1990. In the US, women hold 50.04% of all jobs across the country, but despite this, gender equality concerns persist.
There are some key issues that crop up when discussing the reasons why there still aren’t equal opportunities in the workforce for men and women, the most salient of which include unequal pay, promotion disparity, sexual harrassment and caregiving.
With equality, diversity and inclusion key reasons driving consumer and job-seeker imperatives, businesses and their leaders can push back against gender inequality to facilitate a diverse workforce.
So, which companies are paving the way to ensure women have access to the same opportunities and treatment as men?
Founded by CEO and gender equality champion Whitney Wolfe, it’s no wonder that Bumble is just as forward-thinking as the woman who created it.
At Bumble, women’s leadership and growth is taken seriously. In 2018, Wolfe wrote an op-ed piece for Refinery29 about how to facilitate a work environment where women can thrive. She detailed how Bumble employees are encouraged to work flexibly and provided with spaces where they can bring their children to the office.
They also have regular meetings to discuss their professional growth and career trajectory, along with semi-annual sit downs to discuss their salaries in order to combat the aversion to discussions about money that women are socialized to feel. Bumble also offers staff regular training and development opportunities, as well as a monthly wellness allowance.
Patagonia has a long history of advocating for gender equality in the workplace. At the company, 50% of managers are women, as are 50% of senior-level management staff.
Along with offering flexible working hours, the company has implemented various policies to fight workplace gender inequality mainly felt by working mothers.
These policies include on-site childcare that allows employees to better balance working and parenting. This strategy is, in part, funded by the reduced turnover and higher employee retention rates yielded by the policy itself - with 95% of mothers returning to their jobs full-time.
What’s more, new mothers are given 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, and new fathers given 12 weeks.
Cognizant is making giant strides forward when it comes to gender equality at work.
Across its company ecosystem, Cognizant offers programs that provide women with the opportunities and resources they need to advance their careers. Employees can attend networking events, forums, dinners and so on that are designed to connect women in the workforce.
In 2020, the company took advantage of the remote work environment fostered by the pandemic to expand their Propel program, which is aimed at accelerating women in leadership, and increased participation by 110% with 550 women graduating from the program.
4. Bank of America
Back in 2019, Bank of America won the Catalyst Award for investing in women. The company’s global initiative strategy focuses on making Bank of America a great place to work for women, while also working to empower women economically and socially around the world.
At a time where gender equality was an increasingly pressing topic, the company decided to rebuild its practices from the ground up by introducing hiring guidelines to employ a more diverse workforce. It also makes sure to have regular open conversations with employees to ensure they’re progressing in their careers. As a result of this, women’s representation in middle and senior management positions at the company has risen significantly.
Hubspot is one of those companies that are regularly included on lists of great places to work. Women’s development and growth as employees is taken seriously, and it runs regular programs to support women in tech and their professional development.
A key initiative is the Women@HubSpot Employee Resource Group (ERG), which is a global community built to support and inspire women from diverse backgrounds across the company’s international offices.
Hubspot also offers employee benefits such as flexible work, paid maternity leave and paternity leave so that women can better balance their working life with motherhood.
DocuSign is one of the leading software solutions for managing electronic agreements, but did you know that the company is also known for its commitment to gender equality in the workplace?
The company has three ERGs created for its female employees, which are: DocuSign Women, Women in Product Development and Women in Solution Engineering.
DocuSign's dedication and efforts towards empowering women in the workplace are commendable, which is why the company is consistently rated as a great place to work for women.
Join the push for gender equality
Companies joining the fight against gender inequality in the workplace are seeing greater employee retention rates and increased employee satisfaction.
There are many ways businesses can implement initiatives that empower women in the workforce, such as by introducing flexible work policies, bridging the pay gap and championing dignity and respect at all times.