What Employee Benefits Are Most Attractive to Female Candidates?
To better understand what employee benefits or perks are most attractive to female candidates, we reached out to CEOs, marketing professionals, and founders for their insights. From women-focused development programs to family-friendly benefits, here are the top six recommendations shared by these industry leaders.
- Women-Focused Development Programs
- Pay Transparency and Equality
- Job Security and Leave Policies
- Leadership Development Opportunities
- Flexible Work Options
- Family-Friendly Benefits
Women-Focused Development Programs
Professional development opportunities and mentorship programs aimed at women are attractive perks to female candidates. The existence of these programs signals that the company is committed to uplifting female employees and closing the gender gap.
These options can provide them with the learning and upskilling opportunities they crave and allow them to progress further and faster in their careers.
Pay Transparency and Equality
The most frustrating thing for any professional is to be overlooked or undervalued compared to their colleagues. For companies that are serious about gender equality and hiring female talent, the first thing they need to do is ensure they’re offering a workplace where they can truly thrive and be given the same opportunities as their male colleagues.
Pay transparency is especially appealing to female candidates because it shows a genuine commitment to pay equality. Along with this, offering leadership development and mentorship programs (and ensuring they’re equally accessible for employees of all genders) shows female candidates that you’re invested in their career growth and that they’ll have opportunities to learn and advance while they’re with your company.
Having a gender-diverse leadership team helps, too, by showing that your promises of equality are more than just lip service and giving female candidates someone they can relate to and view as an ally within the leadership team.
Job Security and Leave Policies
Job security is an important consideration for many female employees who may be unsure about taking on a new role because of its potential impact on personal responsibilities like childcare or eldercare.
Employers should ensure their policies around maternity/paternity leave and other extended leave benefits are clear and comprehensive, so there’s no uncertainty about taking time off for these life events.
Leadership Development Opportunities
Getting women back to work after the Covid-19 pandemic has been a priority for my recruiting firm. I’ve talked to a lot of women about what they’re looking for, and by far, the most common response has been leadership development opportunities.
While things like flexible scheduling and paid time off are becoming typical offerings, women still often get the short stick with advancement.
Women are looking for careers that matter, and the pandemic has only heightened that desire. We’re all questioning whether the hours we put into our jobs are worth it in the face of skyrocketing cost-of-living increases.
A focus on development opportunities and internal promotions will assure women that there is room to grow beyond the status quo.
Flexible Work Options
Besides equal pay and opportunity, one employee benefit attracting female candidates the most will be an opportunity to work flexible hours or remotely. If a female employee is a mother, chances are she takes on the responsibility of most of the childcare and related chores. Thus, managing them alongside regular working hours can become hectic.
In such cases, female candidates may find flexible working hours or work-from-home opportunities more beneficial than regular 9 to 5 office work. Irrespective of an employee’s gender, flexible working hours are a highly valued perk after health insurance and coverage.
So it is fair to assume that it will also be an attractive perk for female candidates. It is also a good option for SMEs who cannot afford to give other lucrative benefits like a full year of unlimited paid time off (by Netflix for new parents) or luxurious annual vacations.
While female candidates desire a range of benefits and perks, ones that stand out are parental leave, childcare services, and coverage of fertility and family-planning services. Women (and men) don’t want to feel like they have to choose between work and having a family.
When companies realize that and prioritize benefits that allow parents to have kids and raise them without having to give up their careers, they’re likely to have high employee retention.