Back in January of this year, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data revealed that women held more jobs in the U.S. workforce than men, accounting for 50.04% of all positions. Experts believed that the trend was going to continue and gain even more momentum until the coronavirus pandemic arrived and caused economic carnage across the country. Even though there were 109,000 more women employed than men across the U.S. in January, work still needs to be done to eliminate gender discrimination.
In late 2018, the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research said that women were earning just 49 cents to the typical man’s dollar, considerably less than the 80 cents usually reported. Many companies are bucking the trend, however, and that prompted Forbes and Statista to work together to identify America’s Best Employers for Women in 2020 – the third edition of the annual ranking.
Employers were identified in an independent survey of over 75,000 U.S. employees working for companies employing at least 1,000 people in their U.S. operations with 45,000 women included in the sample. The evaluation was based on four criteria – direct recommendations in terms of general work topics, direct recommendations relevant for women, indirect recommendations as well as diversity levels among top executives or the board. The 300 companies receiving the highest total scores were awarded as the Best Employers for Women 2020. The survey was conducted during March and April 2020, as Covid-19 spread across the country and the responses reflect employee’s feelings before the crisis really took hold.
This year, sporting goods retailer REI jumped 20 places to grab top spot with a score of 87.6. The company has been working over the past three years to dissolve gender labels in outdoor gear and it has also been funding inclusion efforts, donating over $2.5 million to 80 different organizations. When it comes to its employees, it is devoted to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion with women making up 38% of its board of directors, half of its senior leadership and 45% of its total workforce. British-Dutch multinational Unilever comes second on this year’s list with a score of 87.03 while beauty store chain Ulta Beauty ULTA +2.8% rounds off the top-three best employers for women with 85.52. Browse the full list here.