Katherine Klein (Wharton Social Impact Vice Dean), Shoshana Schwartz (Wharton doctoral student), and Sandi M. Hunt (Wharton Social Impact Senior Director) tackle the deceptively simple question, “What makes companies good employers for women?”, in a way that has not been done before.

Lean in. #MeToo. Women on boards. Gender lens investing.

In a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons, a growing number of advocates, employees, business leaders, and investors are seeking an answer to the question: What does it mean to be a good employer for women?

In Wharton Social Impact Initiative’s newest report, “Four for Women: A Framework for Evaluating Companies’ Impact on the Women They Employ,” Vice Dean Katherine Klein, Wharton doctoral candidate Shoshana Schwartz, and WSII Senior Director Sandi M. Hunt tackle this question head on.

Moving beyond speculation and hunches, Klein and her colleagues dig into the academic research literature on women and work to identify the workplace outcomes that matter most for women.

In a report that is at once rigorously evidence-based, highly practical, and aspirational, Klein and her colleagues integrate the findings of hundreds of studies to document the barriers, biases, and limitations that too many women continue to experience at work.

Good employers for women, they show, knock down these barriers, biases, and limitations to create companies that really work for women – companies where women are well-represented at every level and in every unit of the company; companies where women are paid fairly and well; companies where women experience health and safety – not stress and harassment; companies where women are happy to work.

Representation. Pay. Health. Satisfaction. These are the workplace outcomes that matter most for women. 

Four for Women framework identifying what makes a company a good employer for women

Klein and her colleagues’ framework – Four for Women – promises to change the conversation about what it means to be a good employer for women. Highlighting critical outcomes for women – and possible metrics to use to assess these outcomes – they set a new standard for employer excellence. And it is about employer excellence (not just excellence for women) because companies that are good for women are good for men, too. It’s not a zero sum game.

Few companies today achieve the standards of Four for Women. This report is designed to inform and inspire business leaders, investors, and employees to work to move the needle on the outcomes that matter most for women. Four for Women doesn’t offer a roadmap, but a destination. It says to companies: Here’s what it looks like to be a good employer for women. If you’re convinced by the evidence and inspired by the framework, measure what matters and work to achieve the four outcomes that really matter for women at work: representation, pay, health, and satisfaction.

Read the full report below.

Posted: November 1, 2018

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