20190109 perspectives employers for women

4 signs a company is a good employer for women

Updated 2125 GMT (0525 HKT) January 9, 2019

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Katherine Klein is the Edward H. Bowman Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Shoshana Schwartz is a doctoral candidate in the Management Department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Sandra Maro Hunt is a senior director at the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.

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CBS' former chief executive Les Moonves is out. Charged with sexual misconduct and a failure to cooperate with investigators, he has been terminated for cause and denied his $120 million severance.

Given the steady drumbeat of #MeToo stories over the past year, the news from CBS is depressingly familiar. So, it's not surprising that a growing number of investors are interested in screening companies on their treatment of the women they employ.
For many, the goal is not just to avoid investing in companies that are bad for women. They'd like to invest in companies that are actually good for women.
But finding these companies is a challenge — not because they don't exist, but because investors too often rely on inadequate metrics.
You can't identify companies that are good employers for women simply by counting the number of women on a company's board or in its C-suite.
Some studies find that when women hold positions of power, they foster positive working conditions — better pay, more promotions — for women lower in the company. But other equally rigorous studies find no evidence for this claim.
We reviewed hundreds of academic studies to identify the markers that distinguish the best employers for women. Here's what we learned: To determine if a company is really a good employer for women, take a hard look at the representation, pay, health and satisfaction of the women who work there.
    Companies that get these four fundamentals right are not just trying to be good employers for women, they're succeeding. And they are not just good employers for women, they're good employers for men, too.
    The four fundamentals aren't difficult to measure. The problem is that very few companies share the information necessary to do so. But, if investors start asking for this information, that could change.