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Business + Management: Marty Mcghie

These Are the Two Things That Women Want Most in the Workplace

Print managers would be well served to keep them in mind when recruiting women.




LET ME BEGIN by emphatically stating I’m not here to convince you of the value of hiring women in your business. No offense intended, but if you’re asking that question, you need more help than I can offer within the bounds of this column. (Okay, some offense intended.) My goal is to help you recruit and retain skilled and productive women into your workplace.

We could begin by asking, “What do women want?” Okay yeah, I have no idea how to actually answer that one. Alternatively, however, I can share some interesting results of a recent Gallup poll. More than 13,000 employees were asked what factors they value most in the workplace. Women considered the following as the two most important factors:

  1. Greater work-life balance and better wellbeing – 66 percent of women consider this to be very important
  2. Increased income and improved benefits – 65 percent of women consider this to be very important

Interestingly, the men who were surveyed flipped the order, ranking increased income and benefits as number one and greater work-life balance as number two. So, unsurprisingly, both men and women consider these two factors as the most important when considering a new job. Knowing these results, ask yourself “Do I foster an environment within my company that promotes these factors?” Here are a couple of ideas to consider that may help your efforts.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Having a proper maternity/paternity leave policy in place is extremely important in today’s work environment if you wish to recruit and retain the best employees. Forward-thinking companies are beginning to provide much better options here such as four to six weeks of paid leave for both maternity and paternity leave. The organization my son works for recently changed their paternity leave from two paid days to six paid weeks – a very dramatic shift in policy. Their reasoning: They were losing too many of their employees to other companies offering much better benefits.

Paid Family Leave

This benefit applies to those who find themselves caring for not only children, but for other family members with health concerns. Paid family leave benefits are administered on a state-by-state basis. Unfortunately, at this point, only a handful of states have adopted this policy. But many other states are now moving to legislate this type of benefit in the workplace. Most provide a percentage of an employee’s salary for coverage up to 12 weeks, similar to short-term disability coverage. If you’re looking to provide your employees a more robust benefit plan, this would definitely help create a workplace with greater work-life balance and better wellbeing.

Equal Pay

Competitive pay and benefits are very important to both women and men alike. Despite our workplace society having made meaningful progress with equal pay regardless of gender, there are still gaps out there. Take the time to ensure your employees are compensated based on their skill set and performance and not on their gender. It may even be that you have unwittingly allowed this mistake to creep into your company’s compensation from historical or institutional experience. Now is a good time to review all positions in your company and make certain that, regardless of gender, you’re compensating all positions fairly.


Hiring qualified women and retaining them as long-term employees is obviously critical to the future success of your business. Take the time to review your benefits and pay structure to make sure you’re providing a workplace that fosters fairness and loyalty among all employees. It will be well worth your effort.



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