How Ursula Mead Keeps Women’s Employment InHerSight
Setting New Sights with InHerSight
Looking for a new job? You typically check off the usual criteria – good salary, check. Healthcare, check. 401(k), check. Family Growth Support, Maternity and Adoption Leave, Mentorship Programs or Females in Top Leadership…These last few are much harder to ascertain but much more important for female employees to know about before accepting a job.
The work landscape is changing and thanks to InHerSight founder Ursula Mead it is changing in a positive direction when it comes to women. How? The company ratings website improves the workplace by measuring it. The platform utilizes data to test the strengths of a company when it comes to female employees. According to founder Ursula Mead, “Our mission is to help women find what they are looking for and improve what they get from their employers. We’re often referred to as the Tripadvisor for women in the workplace, and we love that comparison because we think it’s a great model. We want to do for women and employers what Tripadvisor does for travelers and service providers.”
Data is worth a thousand words
Mead’s background in the data sector in product development and management is what encouraged her to create InHerSight. Being able to understand the value of information and data analytics encouraged Mead to develop the platform. “There’s a lot of momentum these days behind improving the workplace for women, and most people agree we need to do more to achieve equality. But I couldn’t see how we could get there without useful, actionable information. We came to measuring the opinions of women about their work environments. Through anonymous ratings and reviews, we’re measuring the reality of our workplaces and what company policies and cultures actually mean for the women who are experiencing them. When I started looking for these kinds of insights, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been done before,” says Mead.
What do women want at the workplace?
You can ask 100 women what their vision of success entails and you’ll most likely get 100 different responses. However, you’ll begin to notice a common thread. Phrases like work life balance and flex work stick out the most. “Success and ‘having it all’ mean different things to different women at different times in their lives and careers. I’ve seen that what we want isn’t one perfect policy or one model company; it’s the opportunity to find workplaces where each of us has the best chance to thrive,” says Mead. Giving women the tools and resources to research potential careers, companies and opportunities empowers them to make the right decision for them. PricewaterhouseCooper recently released the study, The Female Millennial: The New Era of Talent, which states that 97% of female millennials demand significant flexibility and work life balance.
Currently, InHerSight has ratings for over a thousand companies with tech in the lead followed by healthcare and financial services. According to a Booz Allen spokesperson, a company rated on the platform, “We believe the strength of Booz Allen is in the diversity of our people…As part of our focus on building a diverse workforce, we’re committed to offering women the tools and opportunities they need to enhance their skills and build a career that forges a path for advancement as it accounts for the many demands of a well-rounded life. Women play a key role in the success of the firm, from the newest employee right up to our board of directors, and their contributions are essential.”
With a 4.4 rating (out of 5 Stars) Summit Consulting is a top employer according to employee responses on InHerSight. Summit Consulting’s Senior Manager of Human Capital, Jennifer Folsom says, “We have a performance-based culture, not focused on face time that creates a lot of opportunities for work-life balance. We have an extremely flexible work environment around place, schedule and remote work. This allows our staff to work around important things at all stages of life, from daycare pickups to dog walks to grad school courses at night. Our staff-led Wellness Committee promotes strong work-life balance initiatives like subsidized in-office yoga and weekly fresh fruit delivery.”
Transforming the Workforce by Creating Conversation
According to Mead, InHerSight is trying to open up a dialogue between companies and their employees. Their anonymous insights have the opportunity to open corporate minds when they read current employees experiences at their companies. Mead believes their data can actively help businesses retain and attract new female talent. “Before InHerSight, I remember looking at the annual “top 25 companies for women” type lists and getting frustrated, not just by their methodologies, but by the fact that not all women can work at those 25 companies. And while it’s great to celebrate the companies doing things right, it’s also important to identify the companies where things need to improve,” said Mead.
Making a Difference
InHerSight is not alone when it comes to company ratings. Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Salary.com all share the space. The difference is Mead’s platform targets women. “We’re focused on factors that companies can control where they’re likely to have policies, and also on a wide enough range of metrics that the information is valuable to women with many different definitions of success and workplace support. Because let’s face it, there are dozens of ways that women define success,” says Mead. None of the other sites, that publicly share crowd sourced data workplace trends directly support female employees, Mead mentions.
According to Daniel Stapleton, InHerSight’s Designer, their main objective from the start was to obtain data that no one else had. “…That seemed critical, to us, to improving workplace support for women, so we built a very basic form and shared it with family and friends, asking them to rate their employers. Their feedback helped us identify holes in the information we were collecting and led to a series of experiments and improvements around the rating process. With each iteration, we reached out to more women and received more data,” said Stapleton.
Become part of the InHerSight community by rating your employer. Every business is open to critique and all postings are 100% anonymous. Continue the conversation by opening up a dialogue about your current employer and former employers. To make a difference in the workforce female employees need to start sharing their insight and know that their advice can positively make an impact on whoever is reading their review. Whether that be a potential jobseeker, hiring manager or company CEO.
Jill started out her career as an on-air reporter for the financial news website, Minyanville. She is currently the Associate Director of Editorial & Communications and Millennial Expert for WORKS, a career and lifestyle brand. Jill is the millennial expert for Aol Jobs and the millennial ambassador for Bentley’s PreparedU Project. Her advice has appeared in Yahoo! Finance, Fox Business, Bloomberg Radio, MSN Money, Refinery 29, Reuters, Business Insider, Huffington Post & Cosmo for Latina. Jill graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with degrees in journalism and history. She loves traveling around the world and hopes to visit every country on the map – next stop Greece. When home, in New York City, Jill enjoys relaxing by the city’s riverfront, doing yoga and watching her guilty pleasure, Bravo.