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Forbes, Statista Analyze The Best U.S. Employers for Women

Best US Employers

Forbes, in partnership with German data company Statista, surveyed over 40,000 U.S. employees (including 25,000 women) that worked for companies that had at least 1,000 total employees in an effort to find which companies were the best US employers for women. While several big-name companies earned high marks, one particular Iowa-based company managed to stand out among the competition.

The first set of criteria Forbes and Statista analyzed to calculate its best US employers for women ranking centered around factors such as working conditions, diversity, and “how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others.” When accounting for the men in the survey, in contrast to the women that were asked the same set of questions, scores were adjusted if the differences if answers became apparent. For example, Statista would adjust scores if men in the survey said a company had a lot of diversity, but women said that the same company did not.

The following set of criteria used in the survey, specifically for the female respondents, focused on “on factors such as parental leave, discrimination, and pay equity,” as well as nominated companies outside of the one they happen to work for. “The final list ranks the 300 employers that both received the most recommendations and boast the most gender diverse boards and executive ranks,” Forbes says.

Des Moines, Iowa company Principal Financial Group was the best U.S. company for women, according to Statista data.

Principal Financial Group, based out of Des Moines, Iowa, earned the highest honors for the 2018 ranking, with an official score of 91.4. The company, ranked 210th overall on the Fortune 500 list, employs 9,978 U.S. workers, nearly 60 percent of which are women. Speaking with Forbes, Kerry Gumm, the Principal Capital Director of Human Resources Strategy, says, “It really does start with the culture of the organization.”

“You can have a holistic life if you’re part of this organization,” she adds. “I’ve not felt the need to compromise in any way.”

Principal Financial Group earned high recommendations because of its benefits, which include “flexible work schedules, prenatal care programs, and an onsite childcare center.” The company also manages an annual review of all of its pay practices to better combat any potential biases, alongside an anonymous call center to help discuss compensation disputes. Not to be outdone, the company also implements rigorous standards in helping its own employees earn promotions, of which include “three women’s networks for those in leadership, technology, and sales roles.” In contrast to many of the companies listed in the aforementioned Fortune 500 listing, 42 percent of executive roles and 45 percent of the boards seats are held by women Principal Capital Group.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System, more commonly referred to as Penn Medicine, earned the number two spot on the ranking. The organization has over 35,000 U.S. employees; the third highest among the top ten ranked companies. With a significantly larger employee base than Principal Financial, Penn Medicine also has one of the largest percentages of female employees in the country at 77 percent. This also includes 55 percent women in the organization’s executive roles, as well as five out of its seven CEOs.

Card manufacturer Hallmark, based in Kansas City, Missouri, rounded out the top three. The company sports the smallest employee base out of any company in the top 10, with 2,500 U.S. employees. However, Hallmark featured an even larger portion of U.S. female employees than Penn Medicine, with a figure of 83 percent overall. About 70 percent of the Hallmark board is also held by women.

Several of the nation’s most prominent universities also managed to land in the top 50 of the new ranking, the highest of which was Harvard University at 9th overall. New York University, UVA, Stanford, and Emory University also earned high honors in the 2018 best US employers for women ranking.

2018 Best US Employers for Women

RankingCompany# of U.S. Employees
1Principal Financial Group9,978
2Penn Medicine35,273
3Hallmark2,500
4BayCare25,600
5Oregon Health & Science University15,642
6Keller Williams Realty154,000
7Boston Children's Hospital5,001
8Providence Health & Services82,000
9Harvard University18,724
10Gwinnett County Public Schools23,300

Click here to see the 2018 entire ranking.

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About the Author

Matthew Korman
Matthew Korman

Matthew Korman is the Managing Editor of MetroMBA. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked as a music industry writer and promoter, a data analyst, and with numerous academic institutions. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.

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