Georgene Huang and Romy Newman, the cofounders of Fairygodboss, want to help women achieve that mythical unicorn of goals: work-life balance.
Since founding Fairygodboss — which, in their words, aims to be the eHarmony of job-review sites — two years ago, Huang and Newman have helped thousands of women get the scoop on potential employers' attitudes about gender equality. The women in their community crowdsource hard-to-find information from each other on topics like maternity-leave policies and the culture around promoting women.
Just recently, Fairygodboss launched a new initiative: a work-life balance guide in the form of an online database that matches women with companies offering flexible policies. The database lets you search companies or industries to see which employers offer part-time work, work from home, flexible start and end times, and more. There's currently data on over 1,000 businesses.
Huang, the CEO of Fairygodboss, says her "aha moment" for launching the startup came when she was two months pregnant with her daughter, now 2, and going on job interviews. "I had lots of questions I wanted to ask in my interviews I feel I couldn't ask. Some of them were around maternity leave," she tells Refinery29.
At the time, she says, every single job site she read for advice "skewed very male," in terms of both topics and voice. These sites didn't address questions women may have about flexibility in the workplace — which many members of the Fairygodboss community consider one of the most important attributes of a potential employer. "We're starting to notice patterns about women being happy at a company [correlating with] what their policies are," she says.
The work-life balance guide can show users specific data on companies, like that 25% of Dell employees work from home either full- or part-time, or that both General Electric and American Express have large percentages of employees who work remotely. According to the guide, 70% of Fortune 500 companies offer some part-time positions, 64% offer remote positions, and 50% have flexible work policies.
It may not shock you that there's still a ton of stigma for women around asking about flexible policies at work. "Socially, it’s difficult for women and mothers, in particular, to inquire about flexibility policies and work-life balance without looking lazy or creating the impression that she’s not hardworking," Newman, the president of Fairygodboss, said in a press release. The company hopes to help remove this stigma.
With close to 20,000 companies on its website, Fairygodboss sits on a mountain of incredibly valuable data. In 2015, the company introduced the first-ever crowdsourced database of parental leave policies, something that less than 10% of Fortune 100 employers publish.
Consider this another tool in your becoming-a-kick-ass-boss kit.
It’s 2017, and yet women are still fighting for equality. Data suggests it will take until 2152 to close the gender wage gap, but it shouldn’t take a century to get what we want. We want more, and Refinery29 is here to help — because 135 years is too long to wait for what we deserve today.