It's no surprise that women are leading in more ways than one when comes to making boss moves. While some have left the workforce altogether to start businesses, stay at home with their children, or travel, others have taken new, traditional career opportunities to the next level. Women have bagged 57% of the more than 530,000 new jobs that opened up in October, according to reports, and hey, it's always good to know that our savvy, flair and smarts will be dominating into the new year.
Which leads us to this: Where are the jobs, and what companies are putting action behind words to diversify their ranks with opportunities for women to thrive? (There's still work to be done of course, in terms of CEO and board appointments, and equal pay, but that's a whole other story). Let's take a look at the "best" companies for women, according to the experts who put together select elite lists every year. These are companies that have implemented policies, initiatives, and practices that put inclusion, safety, and minority advancement at the forefront.
(A quick note: This list isn't exhaustive nor is it intended to be a ranking of any kind. It's a snapshot, summarized based on inclusion of companies consistently listed on multiple "best" lists that point to not only being great for women, but for Black women specifically, to give you a starting point for research to pursue your career goals.)
If you've ever had to download an app to get your 401K info, tax returns, or digital paystubs, you're probably familiar with ADP. It provides human resource management software and services that are widely used across the globe. AnitaB.org, an online platform and women computers' community founded in 1987, named ADP among its "2021 Top Companies for Women Technologists" report, in part due to its efforts to "build leadership capabilities to recognize and mitigate unconscious bias in over 2,000 leaders globally through training."
The company also made Seramount's (formally Working Mother Media), "100 Best Companies" list for working mothers, which takes into account whether a company offers inclusive options like flexible work schedules and great childcare benefits.
(A bonus: It's rated highly at 4 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor, a leading platform that highlights reviews from actual employees, both former and current.)
2.The Hershey Company
This powerhouse chocolate manufacturer made Forbes' list of "The World's Top Female-Friendly Companies 2021," ranking at No. 1. For this list, more than 85,000 women were asked to rate their companies on things like pay equity and parental leave, and they were also asked to describe how the brands backed gender equality or "perpetuated negative stereotypes." Another reason Hershey reported made the cut was due to an initiative the company launched called the Pathways Project, described as "a five-year plan to make its workplace and communities more inclusive" and their savvy in introducing the HSY Care Connect app which offers transportation, tutoring, childcare and eldercare resources.
They've got top rankings in the hospitality industry, and they took the No. 1 spot on Fortune's 2021 "Best Large Workplaces For Women" list. In partnership with Great Place to Work, a platform that quantifies employee experiences at companies across the U.S., the feedback of more than 5.6 million U.S. workers was analyzed to gain perspectives on "whether different identities women hold change their experience of the workplace," and insights on the daily experiences of innovation, company values, and leader effectiveness.
It also made the top 50 on Glassdoor's 2021 list of "Best Places to Work," with reviews praising its "flexible work hours" and focus valuing employee opinions.
4.Navy Federal Credit Union
This banking institution headquartered in Virginia ranked 25 among Fortune's 2021 list for "Best Workplaces for Women," but what stands out even more is that the company works with groups including Women in Technology, Achieve Escambia and HBCUs to advocate for and facilitate career advancement for minority groups. They've also hosted organizations such as the African-American Credit Union Coalition, the Human Rights Coalition and National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America, and they were once named among Fortune's "10 Best Workplaces for African Americans."
5.Bank of America
Bank of America made both the Forbes and Fortune top lists this year that are specific to women and their needs in the workplace. And more specifically—for our melanated career women—this company made the top 5 on a recent Glassdoor list that focused on "satisfaction" ratings and other insights directly from Black professionals. On a scale of 1 to 5, it had the second-highest "overall company" rating among Black employees surveyed.
A popular and super-successful beauty brand with global reach, Estee Lauder made the top 25 on Forbes female-friendly list, but it's also very telling the recent initiatives this company's gotten behind to provide opportunities specific to Black women. There's the Howard University partnership to empower alumni with a career hub, the recent establishment of the Equity and Engagement Center of Excellence to boost equity, and the more-than-inspiring existence of Black women executives among its ranks like Deirdre Stanley, executive vice president and general counsel, and the amazingly chic Black girl magic of the women of NOBLE, the company's Black employee resource group.
Comparably, an online resource that provides culture and compensation data, ranked Hubspot No. 1 for "Best Companies for Women," a list that was compiled from the observations of female employees on management efforts to promote diversity and inclusion and provide an positive environment for women.
Women gave the company an "A+" rating overall, and the same rating was given about perks and benefits.
The software company also made FlexJobs' list "28 Best Remote-Friendly Companies for Women" due to its flex work and remote job options.
This popular lodging and vacation rental platform made Forbes' list for best companies for women, and Airbnb also made the cut for Parity, a platform that works to close race and gender gaps in business. Their list, "The Best Companies for Women to Advance," includes companies that all have "a zero-tolerance policy for harassment," "safe complaint system for employees," and practices of "regularly" communicating gender-equality values to employees.
Here's a healthcare company that not only made Forbes' 2021 list of "America's Best Employers By State," but more notably in relation to female professionals made Seramount's 2021 "Best Companies for Multicultural Women," list. Spectrum Health reportedly offers paid maternity and gender-neutral parental leave, and responded to the challenges of COVID-19 by offering employees childcare resources, support and remote work options. The company also also "requires cultural competency training, implicit bias education and diversity in the interview process."
With convenient web-based financial service options, this bank also boasted high ratings among Black professionals in Glassdoor's report, "Black At Work, which analyzed satisfaction survey perspectives among employees at 28 companies. It also made Fortune's Best Workplaces for Women and Best Companies for Millennials lists, as well as People Magazine's "Companies That Care" list.
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Featured image via Getty Images/Shannon Faggan