In order to help women make informed decisions about where to work, the website Fairygodboss shares anonymous reviews of companies by women employees. Using its members' ratings, Fairygodboss recently compiled a list of the best tech companies for women to work at. The tech industry can create notoriously hostile environments for women, so this input can help women who currently work in tech or are interested in entering the field determine where they'd be treated best.
One thing Fairygodboss's reviews and its confessions page, which lets women share their accounts of workplace sexism, make clear is that companies where women are not mistreated due to their gender can be hard to find in any industry: Stories of women being paid less than men, being fired for being pregnant, and being sexually harassed abound. Even the top-rated companies still have room for improvement; on a five-point scale based on how happy women are at their jobs, no tech company got above a 4.1, and even some of the top 10 got mostly ones and twos. One review for one company reads, "There is not a lot of flexibility or work life balance for those of us that have families." Another complains, "No coaching or 1:1 meetings with managers. Never had a career talk in three years."
Nevertheless, these rankings might be useful if you're looking for a job in the tech sector. Here are the five best tech companies for women to work at; head on over to Fairygodboss to see the full list.
The company that probably made at least one electronic device you own has also created a relatively gender-equitable work environment. 71 percent of women who have worked there said they were treated fairly, and 77 percent would recommend it to other women. One reviewer said that the flexible schedule and benefits made it easy to juggle a family, and another lauded Apple's diversity and inclusion initiatives. Another wrote, "There is great support for women here. This excellent environment is built around mutual respect and what I'd call 'gender-agnosticism': people deal with each other simply as people, for the most part, not 'men' or 'women.'"
Anyone who has worked in sales or marketing has probably used the software tool Salesforce, which lets you store all your contacts in a database and document your communications. Salesforce came in second place with a 3.9 rating, and 53 percent of women said they were treated fairly there. Salesforce employees reported that they have a minimum of 12 paid weeks of maternity leave, and one employee review mentions that they offer free mammograms at the office and provide menstrual supplies in the bathroom. Another says, "It is phenomenal to see executive leadership rally around equity-related issues, including pay equity for women, and encouraging more women to get into the tech industry."
Google is a famously utopic workplace, with its high-class cafeteria, massage stations, and laundry services, so it's no surprise that women enjoy working there. "Google understands there are going to be biases in the workplace and does a good job to head them on," one reviewer wrote. However, they added, "I still think there is a big gap between men and women in leadership roles, even within departments that are split 50/50 with lower-level employees." Google has one of the highest minimum amounts of paid maternity leave among the companies, with employees reporting 20 weeks on average. 58 percent of women who have worked at Google said they were treated fairly there, and 65 percent would recommend it to other women.
Cisco Systems, one of Sillicon Valley's largest tech companies, makes and sells networking equipment like routers and servers. The women among Cisco's 70,000 employees rate it at a 3.6 out of five, and two-thirds recommend it to women. Though it only offers four weeks of paid maternity leave, it's the only company in the top five to provide on-site childcare. One reviewer summed up the advantages and disadvantages of working there: "Cons: Long hours, high stress, small percentage of women in director roles and above. Pros: Top-tier talent, commitment to excellence, great compensation package for director and above."
The company that probably provided your word-processing software at one point and may have even created your phone also has a 3.6 rating, with 68 percent of Fairygodboss users encouraging women to work there. Like Google, it provides a minimum of around 20 weeks of paid maternity leave, though it doesn't offer any additional weeks of unpaid leave. "The work-life balance lines are very blurred, but there is ample flexibility to make up for it most of the time," one reviewer wrote. "But you have to take it. No one is going to offer it to you. Plus, a good mentor right away will help navigate the politics because this place feels massive from the inside."
Read the full list of tech companies and get more information on women in the workplace on Fairygodboss's website.