When Georgene Huang was fired while two months pregnant, she found herself job searching. As a pregnant, female executive job seeker, she had a particular set of questions in mind — questions that were not easy to ask in an interview: Were women treated well at the company? Were they paid fairly? Was there reasonable work/life balance? And, most urgently, what was the company’s maternity leave policy?
Huang wasn’t about to reveal her pregnancy to prospective employers; she hadn’t even told her friends that she was expecting. But when she turned to the internet for answers on how much paid maternity leave prospective companies offer — if any — she found nothing.
“I knew I wanted to look [for a job] at a place where women would be treated fairly, where I thought I could have the kind of work culture I believe in…but a lot of the questions I had, I couldn’t find answers [to],” Huang told Fortune reporter Valentina Zarya. “I was really disappointed that there wasn’t any research around maternity leave policies.”
Rather than settling to play a guessing game, Huang resolved to crowdsource the information she was looking for, and before long, in the spring of 2015, Fairygodboss was born. Deemed the “Yelp for Maternity Leave Benefits” by Fortune, Fairygodboss — founded by Huang and Romy Newman — offers women a space to anonymously review their work experiences. Women who visit the site report on their company’s maternity leave policies, their salaries, and whether their employer promotes healthy work-life balance, among other information that’s particularly relevant to women job seekers.
“While Working Mother publishes a list of 100 best companies for moms, and Glassdoor provides information about salaries and cultures, neither offer a searchable tool specifically for maternity leave benefits,” Zarya writes. And as the U.S. is the only developed nation in which women aren’t guaranteed paid leave — meaning it’s up to companies to dictate their own policies — it’s particularly crucial for women to have access to this information.
Fairygodboss has gained some major traction over the past few years, helping millions of women each month find the answers to hard-to-ask questions. The site also offers career advice and job listings at companies that prioritize advancing gender equality in the workplace.
Whether or not you’re a mom or soon-to-be mom, Fairygodboss can help you get the inside scoop on how companies treat women — and usually a company’s paid leave policy says a lot about this. Join the movement and pay it forward: if you leave a (free, anonymous) review on Fairygodboss today, you’ll have the chance to hear what women really think about where they work!
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