Conversation with Fairygodboss CEO Georgene Huang
I had the pleasure of speaking with Georgene Huang, CEO and Co-Founder of Fairygodboss, an online career community focused on empowering women in their job searches by providing insights about companies from people who have worked there. They have 3 million women on the site today and are growing fast. They also partner with employers to share their insights and what women value in companies, acting as a catalyst for company change as well.
In our conversation Georgene shared some of the key insights she has gained from interacting with the Fairygodboss community, which I have paraphrased below:
Gender diversity work is table stakes for companies now, an evolution from even 3 years ago.
The best companies make gender diversity a C-level issue, not an HR initiative. C-level leaders who make this a business imperative and action against it holistically are the most successful. HR is a key partner in making this happen, as are the senior leaders of each function and division.
Winners listen to their employees. They have mechanisms in place to gather input, take action in a meaningful, measurable way and report out on progress and learnings - and keep it going.
The biggest issue companies are trying to tackle today is flex time from two angles: how to really make it work without throwing people who use it off their long-term career tracks, and how to not make it dependent on the individual’s relationship with their manager as to whether it is a viable option.
Related to this, companies that transition to cross-divisional succession planning have the best success creating ways to make flex time and alternate career paths work long-term.
Social media has proven to be good for the gender diversity cause. Fear of exposure plus examples of good are catalysts for positive change.
Employee brands must equal corporate brands. If the messages and touted values are disconnected the public will know and react in a costly way to the company.
Women and men give different weightings to criteria when they undergo a job search. Smart companies understand that not only do they have to offer benefits that both men and women value, they also have to pitch to women differently than they do to men when recruiting.
Georgene feels we can really leverage transparency to drive company change and keep the momentum going on improving gender diversity. A big thank you to Georgene and the Fairygodboss team for their great work and for sharing for all our benefit!