BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Huffington Post: BPW Foundation Post on Successful Workplaces

Posted by YWM on October 22, 2009

top_10Over the years, there’s been plenty of shaming big employers — picketing, signs with attack slogans, marching in the streets. But the game of us-against-them doesn’t work.

In order to transform the workplace to better reflect today’s workforce, we need to think about how to make working women and their families happy.

Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation learned some tips to creating successful workplaces for both employers and their employees. Well, there are actually quite a few, but at least we know these efforts are worth it and it seems that the stock market is starting to agree.

In a Harvard Business Review article, Freek Vermeulen cites a study by Professor Michelle Arthur, from the University of New Mexico, that measures the stock market’s attitude toward Fortune 500 companies’ announcement of work-life programs.

The findings show that there is a 4.8% positive swing when this type of news is released. For perspective, there was a slightly negative response (-0.35%) back in the 1980s.

In recognition of October as National Work and Family Month, BPW Foundation came up with a “tip sheet” to help all workplaces become better aligned with today’s workforce.

Successful Workplaces Tip Sheet:

1. Flexibility. Maybe there’s no such thing as balance. But at least employers can offer their employees the tools–telecommuting options, shift exchanges, compressed work weeks–to better manage their life inside and outside of the workplace.

2. Diversity. It’s more than filling quotas. Define it as broadly as possible for a competitive advantage: race, age, gender, orientation, disability, religion. Because, according to a study out this summer, “the mere presence of social diversity makes people with independent points of view more willing to voice those points of view, and others more willing to listen.”

3. Equity. It currently takes 16 months for a woman to earn what a man makes in 12 months. And that’s not even adjusted for race. Make equity in both pay and access for positions and promotions a priority.

Find out the rest of the Top 10 at Huffington Post
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