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 brand's 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 on 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 the 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 Forbesand Fortunetop 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 a 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 a 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 madeFortune's Best Workplaces for Women and Best Companies for Millennials lists, as well as People Magazine's "Companies That Care" list.
For more job search tips, career advice, and profiles, check out the xoNecole Workin' Girl section here.
Featured image via Getty Images/Shannon Faggan
This post is in partnership with BET+.
Kingdom Business is back for its second season, with even more sermons, songs, and serpents. The series picks up where it left off, with actress Serayah as Rbel caught between the stripper pole and the pulpit. With the first lady of the church working desperately against her, Rbel must find a way to live her dreams and honor her friend while figuring out her faith in the process.
Season one served a collection plate of rivalry, deceit, and revenge –– among many other tribulations. Between the 28-year-old’s acting, conviction, and harmonious voice, here are a few reasons why season two of Kingdom Business is a must-watch.
If the Spirit Doesn’t Move You, Serayah’s Singing Voice Will
Rbel, formally known as Rebecca Belle, is a stripper whose life forcibly takes a turn after suffering a tragedy. Through her quest to find the truth, Rbel finds herself at odds with the head of a local church, First Kingdom’s Denita Jordan, played by the legendary Yolanda Adams. Rbel unknowingly emerges as what a faithful Christian embodies: a perfectly imperfect human who works every day to try their best while leaning on God. Although struggling with her faith, each ballad sung by Rbel can be felt, as the lyrics relate to personal struggles we all endure in different ways. Gospel songs hit differently when your life is in shambles, and chile, Serayah is singing new life into folks.
Serayah is a Formidable Opponent to The Yolanda Adams
As one of the best-selling gospel artists of all time, it’s no easy task to take on the role of a person on the opposing side of greatness. Serayah’s Rbel does an excellent job meeting Jordan at her level while shining through her solos. Throughout season one, Rbel emerges as a top streaming artist, an accomplishment that begets something of a holy war.
Serayah’s Acting Range is Engaging
As a former stripper trying to make a name for herself in the gospel industry, you can imagine the struggles that could come with it. Rbel goes through a range of emotions, all understandable and relatable. Despite several crises of faith, Serayah ensures Rbel delivers a humbling performance that makes the audience root for her redemption.
The Kingdom Business Soundtrack is Everything
Streaming now on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music, the Kingdom Business: Season 1 soundtrack is one you’d want to add to your playlist for high and low times. Aside from four soul-soothing songs from Serayah, the soundtrack also features singles from co-star/Hamilton’s Chaundre-Hall Broomfield, gospel artist Chandler Moore, and legend Yolanda Adams.
Serayah’s Rbel Makes You Root For Her
With First Kingdom beginning to crumble under the pressure of lies, infidelity, and deception, Rbel’s window to take that top spot seems wide open; however, the end of season one showed us the Spirit had other plans. Whether you believe or not, Serayah’s Rbel makes you want to see her win. Who doesn’t love a good underdog with a laid 22” bust down? Whether she seeks Him or not, God is proving to be on Rbel’s side. But is it enough to turn everything around for her? Will Rbel lean on faith or fear?
With secrets coming to light, success within reach, and the devastating conclusion of season one, you don’t want to miss season two––especially with more guest collaborations. Kingdom Business returns to BET+ on Nov 2.
BET+ Original | Kingdom Business | S2 Official Traileryoutu.be
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With 2024 around the corner, a lot of us are starting to think about future goals. What new ideas do I want to bring to life, or what am I currently working on that needs improvement? I’ll be transparent in saying that improving my finances has been an ongoing challenge. I mean, sure, I’m generally stable. But “stable” isn’t enough to invest how I’d like or significantly save as desired. And while it’s not everyone’s favorite subject to bring to the dinner table, I realize a lot of my peers are facing the same problem. Especially in this economy, chile.
That’s why I was super excited to speak with personal finance coach, author, and certified financial instructor Rachael Hanible, a 36-year old Philly-native who has paid off over $92,000 in debt, saved a year's worth of her income, and sports a credit score of 846. In this conversation with xoNecole, she shared her finance journey, along with a few helpful tips for the girlies trying to make money moves (cues, Cardi B).
First, I have to say paying off over $90,000 worth of debt is amazing. Can you tell me a little bit about that journey? How did you cultivate it, and when was the moment you knew you wanted to change your situation?
It was a mixture of a few things. There was some student loan debt there. Plus, I had a car note and credit card debt. I grew up poor, but I never felt like that was God’s plan for my life. I always said I was a millionaire-in-training and spoke about the things I’d do when I’m wealthy. And I woke up one day with an idea of being debt-free, even though I didn’t know anyone who was. I was in school working at a convenience store, making $8/hr. when I had the bright idea. But after I finished college, I revisited the thought, and that’s when the plan started.
"I grew up poor, but I never felt like that was God’s plan for my life. I always said I was a millionaire-in-training and spoke about the things I’d do when I’m wealthy. And I woke up one day with an idea of being debt-free, even though I didn’t know anyone who was."
So many of us want to do that but struggle to make it a reality. What was your process?
I got a job doing accounting after my college job. One day, I just calculated all of my debt and discovered how much was being added to my student loan daily. In my mind, I just wanted to cut down the days that I owed that money, and I applied the same principle to my car note. I started with an extra $5 to my student loans and an extra $20 to my car note. And I was consistent with that idea as I continued to find and grow more income. Now I’m almost 13 years in with no car payment and 11 years with no student loan debt.
Did you always have a good relationship with money?
No (laughs). I went to school for business law, and one of my first assignments was to get a subscription to Wall Street Journal, but I held on to it after the assignment. I started to read about investing, ROTH IRAs, and more. They were mentioning words I never heard before, and that started my journey to learning more.
Just curious, what was your biggest splurge before you got here?
Probably shoes. I have over 100 pairs of shoes (laughs).
You gotta treat yourself sometimes, right?
Girl, not that much (laughs).
Photo courtesy of Rachael Hanible
Well, did you ever work any crazy jobs to get by?
Nothing too crazy because I’ve always been big on integrity over income. But I used to teach Excel classes in my apartment. People from churches would send their registration list, I’d reach out, and they’d come to my little one-bedroom and learn.
It’s giving hustler more than crazy, but I can appreciate the full-circleness of it all. Because, today, how much do you save monthly?
Right now, my major goal is to pay off my 30-year mortgage in eight years, and I have one more year to go. So I’d say I’m averaging about $3K a month toward saving or putting toward my home loans.
That’s incredible. But I’m curious – it’s hard enough to shift your finances the way you did. What triggered you to transform this skill into a business?
For years, I was helping people, and that continued to grow. People actually told me I should start charging – so I did.
You offer a lot more, though, right? Talk to me about your multiple streams.
Yes, it started with that one thing: talking and helping people. But when you solve one problem, people will send you bigger problems. So, it developed into classes for kids. Those sessions start at age three and go all the way to college-aged. Also, I’m an author and teach about real estate, budgeting, and credit.
What’s been your biggest business challenge so far?
Even though it's a sexy subject now, no one wanted to talk about this years ago. In the beginning, people didn’t wanna hear from a Black woman with no kids and no husband about financial literacy. For whatever reason, people felt like those things didn’t make me relatable. Like, of course, she can do this if she doesn’t have kids. It was difficult; that was something I really had to fight through.
Ugh, that's ridiculous. Did you have a person or tribe to confide in? Who do you talk to?
Yes, I talk to my mom. She’s a pastor. Then there’s my big sister, who is a mixture of the church and the streets and, of course, my best friend. She’s all the way left (laughs). I come to them for business and relationships. They are all fair and give me encouragement.
From working with diverse clientele, have you picked up on any popular unhealthy spending habits?
The habits are connected to the mindset. The mindset controls your access. Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t feel like freedom, luxury, or wealth is for us. Whether we have $5 or $5,000. I think once we shift that mindset, we’ll be able to hold on to it more.
"The habits are connected to the mindset. The mindset controls your access. Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t feel like freedom, luxury, or wealth is for us. Whether we have $5 or $5,000. I think once we shift that mindset, we’ll be able to hold on to it more."
How would you define wealth?
I define wealth as freedom and options. There are people waking up to do things they don’t want to do because they need the money and people going to sleep not doing what they want because they don’t have the money. Wealth is being able to make decisions when and how you want.
Okay, it’s time for you to teach us your ways. What investments do you currently have? Can you give us exact names?
When it comes to investing, I’ve heard conflicting advice. Some people say you should start making investments as soon as you have consistent money coming in, and others suggest waiting and building more first. What’s your perspective?
I think we should have an emergency fund, especially now. You need something you can access quickly. For my clients, I always suggest setting a freedom number in case something happens. And then, after that, we do an even split of investing and saving. Inflation isn’t going anywhere, so we have to make our money grow.
"Inflation isn't going anywhere, so we have to make our money grow."
Photo courtesy of Rachael Hanible
And when it comes to budgeting, how detailed do we need to be?
Very. There are so many of us that work so hard for our money and don’t know where it’s going. Small things can go a long way. A lot of us are throwing small amounts of money away every day; that can add up, especially if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck or have big goals.
What needs to be included on that budget? Can you share a must-have?
Build for fun in your budget now and freedom for the future. You need a healthy balance for it to be successful and realistic.
Do you have a money mantra that you swear by?
I still say I'm a millionaire-in-training. Now I have all my kids in class saying that. And I end all my classes by reminding people that even though they now have the knowledge and inspiration, only they can make the decision to change.
What’s been your biggest lesson through this process?
God takes care of the people who take care of His people. When I first started, I didn’t have the jazzy marketing and photo shoots, but people could tell my heart was connected to this. And I think that’s why, after ten years, I’m still getting new clients, contracts, and etc. There’s so much content about how to make your business grow, but the most important thing is to care and be passionate about what you’re doing.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Do something that you would do for free. People say you’ll never work a day in your life if you’re doing what you love. That’s not true. There’s gonna be some piece of your purpose that you’re not gonna like. But if you’d do it for free, that will tell you everything about longevity and if you’re doing it from your heart.
Things you’re gonna learn: taking the stairs is essential. If you try and take the fast lane, you’re gonna get to some levels you’re not prepared for. So, do it for free first and take the stairs.
Finally, what is your ultimate saving goal?
I don’t want any debt. Also, being able to make sure my mom is comfortable – she’s had some health challenges. I want to be able to do what I love without worrying about bills, and I want to be able to serve the people and not count pennies in the process.
I think it’s safe to say she’s well on her way.
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Feature image courtesy of Rachael Hanible