Berkshire Career Works

The Rise of Data as an Empowerment Tool

Finding the right company has gotten a whole lot easier thanks to technology. Before, if you wanted to really understand a company’s culture, you had to call someone who knew someone who worked there. Today, most job hunters go straight to Glassdoor, an online database of over 8 million company profiles. The app crowdsources anonymous reviews that give CEO approval ratings, salary reports, standard interview questions, benefit details, office photos, and more. It distills the feedback using a five-star rating system.

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Since it was launched in 2007, Glassdoor has become the de facto resource for potential employees to get a better sense of a company’s character. Of course, those companies with low ratings hate it. Others claim it is a powerful recruiting tool.

Comparably is a new online database tool similar to Glassdoor. It is unique because it includes data regarding race and gender. For example, a recent analysis of Google revealed that while 89 percent of the company’s male employees report it has a positive work environment, only 70 percent of Google’s female employees do. This kind of data offers the job hunter clues as to what the culture is really like for those who aren’t white and/or male.

Women now have their own tools to vet potential employers. Fairygodboss, another Glassdoor competitor, offers employer reviews for women by women. Georgene Huang, one of the co-founders, was inspired to start the company when she was job hunting while two months pregnant. She wanted a company that was friendly to women and wouldn’t force her to “mommy-track” her career just because she was becoming a mommy. She couldn’t find anything online to give her the real scoop about companies and how they dealt with moms. Georgene and her co-founder, Romy Newman, started Fairygodboss in the spring of 2015 and it immediately caught on with women. Within a few short months, the site had collected more than 19,000 reviews on more than 7,000 employers. Who’s using Fairygodboss? American women between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-four who earn a median salary between $80,000 and $100,000 a year. In other words, the talent that every company now wants to attract.

The more data is available to potential employees about company culture, the more empowered we are to make smart decisions for ourselves and our families. In the past, employers held most of the power when it came to the hiring process. Job seekers were forced to rely on word of mouth or their personal networks to get insight into company culture, pay, and the like. Now, thanks to Glassdoor, Fairygodboss, and other rating services, we have more knowledge and, as a result, more power in the process. It couldn’t be a better time to be a woman planning how she wants to integrate kids with her career because she can finally get insight into the reality of a given company’s culture. With the click of a button, she can ascertain their level of female and family friendliness.

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