In a Nutshell: Although some progress has been made in recent years, women still face significant challenges when it comes to seeking jobs, achieving equal pay, and advancing in their careers. PowerToFly helps women meet and overcome these challenges by connecting them with companies interested in fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. The company also provides other valuable resources, such as daily live video chats, articles, and in-person events. Conversely, PowerToFly works closely with its extensive network of partner companies to help them reach their diversity goals. The company emphasizes the importance of breaking down taboos around discussing money to help bridge the gender pay gap.
The promise of American capitalism — ingrained in many at an early age — posits that, with enough perseverance and go get ‘em attitude, anybody can land a successful career in the field of his or her choice.
It’s a nice notion. But real life doesn’t exactly play out that way — for women, in particular.
Women in the U.S. face significant challenges that their male counterparts are not subject to — or are necessarily even aware of — when it comes to seeking jobs and getting ahead in their careers.
“The 20% gender pay gap is real, and it’s even higher for women of color,” said Lauren Hagerty, Senior Manager of Marketing and Community at PowerToFly. “We want to help women reach pay equity by giving them the confidence to know their worth and ask for more.”
PowerToFly was founded in 2014 with the mission to connect women to career opportunities in Fortune 500 companies, fast-growing startups, and other companies that value gender diversity and inclusion.
Hagerty said a number of factors beyond the pay gap contribute to the challenges women face in the workforce.
“Men apply to jobs if they match 60% of the job description and skills, while women only apply when they meet 100% of the requirements,” Hagerty said. This indicates a confidence gap that automatically takes women out of the running for positions they may actually be qualified for, she said.
PowerToFly works on both sides of the equality equation, providing women with valuable career tools and resources and working with companies to help them move toward a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
Facilitating a Community of Women Who are Prepared to Succeed in Business
PowerToFly offers a wealth of career resources aimed at women actively seeking jobs and women looking to move up in their careers.
“Women can come to our website, search and apply for all these great jobs posted by companies that are interested in fostering a more diverse workforce,” Hagerty said.
The company’s extensive listing of jobs offered by its partner companies is conveniently categorized and searchable by attributes such as industry, location, and telecommuting options. PowerToFly even features a category of “Companies with Benefits We Love.”
Hagerty said the company also hosts daily live video chats on wide-ranging topics of interest to women, including negotiation, various career tips, financial wellness, estate planning, and budgeting.
“The live chats are such an awesome opportunity for women to ask questions in a safe space,” she said. “Speakers range from women who are entrepreneurs, CEOs, authors, thought leaders, blockchain innovators, marketers, financial advisors, and more.”
The daily live video chats are archived and accessible through PowerToFly’s website.
PowerToFly also offers virtual coaching sessions on six different topics that can help boost women’s chances of landing a quality job: Resumé Review, LinkedIn Review, Job Search Strategy, Cover Letter Writing, Interview Prep, and the Art of Networking.
The sessions are led by Heather Coll, a career coach and recruiter consultant with 23 years of experience in helping individuals generate positive work-life experiences.
PowerToFly also hosts events across the country that connect women to potential employers.
“We’ve held events in Florida, Arizona, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Canada, and we’re even going to London soon,” Hagerty said. “We go wherever our partners are looking to hire candidates. What’s great about PowerToFly is that our community of users are everywhere.”
Hagerty said the on-location events have proven very beneficial to the women who attend them. She said women frequently gain valuable insights into companies and apply to positions they said they would not have previously applied for.
“On the other side, not every woman coming to PowerToFly is looking for a job,” Hagerty said. “They may be looking to level up their career, become a manager or CEO, or pivot within their industry. We help to educate through our blog content as well as our daily live chats.”
Working with Companies to Help Them Diversify Their Workforce for Today’s World
“We partner with companies that are committed to making their workplace more diverse and more inclusive,” Hagerty said. “We work with great organizations like Microsoft, Intuit, Slack, Casper, and many others. We’re able to fill the room with qualified candidates for them at our in-person events.”
Even though companies come to PowerToFly with the goal of learning how to hire more women, Hagerty said it can be a slow process assisting them to implement changes in their job posting and hiring practices. PowerToFly helps by coaching them along.
But there are some easy steps companies can take to attract more diverse candidates that they are often simply not aware of, she said, such as making salaries available on job postings.
“We’ll also talk to our partners and say, ‘Hey, do you really need all these skills on the job description? Can we make it more female-friendly?” she said. Other times, a company may offer desired perks, such as work-from-home days, but fail to list them in their job postings.
Hagerty said PowerToFly helps them identify these opportunities and incorporate them into postings.
“Companies struggle to build diversity across their organizations and most particularly in technical roles,” according to the PowerToFly website. “Countless studies have shown that diverse teams perform better than homogeneous ones, but without focused solutions, gender parity throughout the corporate ladder won’t be achieved for 100 years.”
PowerToFly also helps to connect its partners with the trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming communities.
The company offers partners the option to post for remote and flexible positions on its job board for $499 per month. It also works with partners to develop custom pricing for full access to its talent engagement offerings.
Breaking Down the Taboo of Discussing Money
“It’s shocking that in 2019, talking about money is still taboo,” Hagerty said. “So many people are scared to talk about it.”
She said PowerToFly’s live chats about salary negotiation can really help break down the barriers to discussing income for women.
“One of the women who has hosted a number of our chats leads negotiations for companies,” Hagerty said. “She comes on and talks to our users and gives them the confidence they need to ask for more. When you’re not advocating for yourself, you’re hurting yourself now and in the future.”
An important way for women to make more money is to simply start talking about it, she said.
“Ask five friends — not just women — in the same position, how much money they make,” Hagerty said. “Really start talking about it with people.”
While this step may be outside of many people’s comfort zone, the tides may be turning when it comes to discussing finances. A 2015 study conducted by Ally Bank showed that 59% of millennials said they talk with others about their income, savings, and debt. Almost half acknowledged they disclose their income to others.
An article among PowerToFly’s online resources suggests that opening up the discussion within the workplace is important as well. Data from the International Monetary Fund revealed that “closing the gender gap in labor force participation in the United States could boost GDP by an estimated 5%.”
The company recommends saying the following to team members or supervisors: “When women have higher paying jobs, they create multiplier effects for their communities because they reinvest more than men do (look at the studies) into the health, nutrition, and education of their children.”
The article states that this practice is called womenomics, and it helped save Japan from a recession when its workforce was aging out.
PowerToFly provides a platform and a wide variety of resources to help women achieve their career goals while helping companies — and the labor force as a whole — become more diversified and inclusive.