"What Do Women Want?" Report From Fairygodboss Reveals The Qualities Women Look For In A Job Offer

There's a lot of talk about getting more women into the workplace, particularly in underrepresented fields and positions of power. But to accomplish this goal, it's important for companies to consider what women care about. So, Fairygodboss conducted a survey on what qualities women look for in a job offer.

The women's career resource site asked 100 women to rate several factors that might determine whether or not they accept a job from one ("not important") to seven ("extremely important"). They also analyzed the results by age to see if the younger and older cohorts had different priorities.

We'll get to the top-rated factors in a second, but Fairygodboss co-founder Romy Newman said the least important factors for women were also very telling. "Historically — especially in the tech space, where the war for talent is most acute — perks such as free lunch, on-site gyms, kegs, and even nap pods have been trotted out to attract young talent," she tells Bustle over email. "Yet the Fairygodboss data shows that amenities and perks land at the very bottom of the list for women of all ages."

Here are a few factors that women did, on the other hand, consider important.

1. Compensation


Companies that uphold the wage gap by paying women less are probably hurting their ability to attract female talent, since compensation is the number-one consideration for women of all ages. In fact, a recent report by the job-searching site Hired found that young women were asking for more money than men were — and getting it! Benefits were also listed as important by Fairygodboss's respondents, especially among women 30 and over. With women prioritizing and advocating for fair pay, it looks like companies must work toward equal pay or sacrifice their ability to attract top employees.

2. Flexible Hours

Newman was surprised to find that women of all ages cared about flexibility. It was the second-most important factor for women 30 and over and the third-most important for women under 30. "While recently there has been much focus on the so-called 'maternity leave arms race' (which we applaud!), we think it’s time for companies to start thinking about their formalized policies with regard to flexible working," she says. "In particular, it would seem to make sense for companies — especially those in technology — to figure out how their technology platforms can help support a more flexible workday."

This is not just a woman's issue, either. A recent McKinsey & Company report found that workplace flexibility is a priority for Millennials irrespective of gender. "Flexibility will become the norm for employers who want to win the war for talent," McKinsey & Company director emerita and Fairygodboss advisor Joanna Barsh, who coauthored the report, tells Bustle over email. "Working mothers are being joined by working fathers and Millennials whose lives demand it."

3. Opportunities For Advancement

Promotion opportunities, mentorship, and professional development were important to women of all ages, with younger women in particular caring about mentoring and promotions and older women wanting professional development programs. This is important for companies to take note of, since Millennial women disproportionately feel they're being passed over for promotions, according to Deloitte's latest Millennial Survey.

4. Good Managers


Good management was the sixth-most important factor for women under thirty and the seventh-most important for women 30 and over. Since women often experience sexism and sexual harassment from coworkers, with the majority of harassment cases happening at the hands of a manager or another senior employee, according to a study in Work, Employment and Society, it's especially important for women to have supportive superiors.

5. Company Involvement In The Community

Prospective employers' involvement in their communities was surprisingly important, ranked eighth for younger women and tenth for the older crowd. Deloitte's Millennial Survey also found that Millennials, particularly women, cared about their workplaces' values, which means that getting involved in improving the local community could help companies attract women. And ultimately, attracting a more diverse group of employees creates a better workplace.

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