InHerSight: Using Data to Help Women in the Workforce

Top down view of woman typing at laptop.

Despite a massive push in recent years to stamp out sexism and gender inequality in the workplace, women still report frequent instances of mistreatment and bias in their professional lives. Numerous women from high-profile companies have come forward with serious accusations against their employers, citing discrimination or even sexual harassment.

Though it may not be to the same extent, a significant portion of working women do experience some degree of sexism in their everyday lives. Ongoing issues like unequal pay, unconscious biases and gender stereotypes against women, non-inclusive workplaces, and a lack of support from higher-ups prevent promotions and stifle success.

While many companies haven’t fixed their discrimination issues, some have — and these are the companies that InHerSight is trying to direct women toward.

What is InHerSight?

InHerSight is a data-driven platform that allows women to rate and review their workplace experiences. The ultimate goal is for women to use this platform to openly and honestly share their feedback on companies using a specifically designed set of metrics. Fellow job-seeking women can subsequently make informed decisions about where they want to — and should — work.

The platform is completely anonymous to avoid any repercussions from disgruntled employers. This eliminates the fear that some women have of reporting transgressions to their higher-ups or human resources teams in person. Additionally, the site is non-exclusive. It seeks to cater not only to the average, everyday woman — but to every woman who makes up the workforce, whether they operate out of cubicles, warehouses, office suites, or executive suites.

InHerSight is hoping that data can improve the workplace, but more than just collecting numbers, this website is creating a community of women who are supporting and facilitating each others’ success.

The Origin Story

To better understand the mission of InHerSight, it’s important to hear the story of the company’s founder, Ursula Mead, who brought the idea to life in January 2014. Mead is a self-proclaimed workaholic who discovered a passion for tech-based problem solving after taking a job at the Motley Fool. She wanted to make the world better using technology and found just the place to do so when she gave birth to a baby girl.

As a woman in a male-dominated field, Mead began to notice acutely the challenges faced by women in the workplace. She was shocked by the low percentage of private-sector employers offering paid maternity leave, as well as the minuscule number of female Fortune 500 CEOs.

A lightbulb went off in her brain as she clocked the major issues for working women in the U.S. and the promising movement to counter these problems. “I envisioned a kind of TripAdvisor or Glassdoor for women to help them find the right companies,” she told The Glossary. “After about a year of Google searches for company review sites for women that came up empty, I decided to build it myself.”

Since becoming a founder, Mead admits to personally encountering many of the obstacles that she’s been actively working to break down. For example, funding was a great challenge for InHerSight, especially because about 80% of the venture capitalists who Mead spoke with early on were men. She found it difficult at times to persuade them of the legitimacy of the workplace issues women face. This problem is less prevalent today because of the traction that the site has gained in the years since its conception.

How Does it Actually Work?

Though its mission is complex, the website itself is very simple. Using easy navigation from the homepage, users can choose to search for a specific company name or browse through a list of previously reviewed employers. If the company hasn’t been reviewed before, users are still able to leave feedback — InHerSight will simply do behind-the-scenes work to approve new companies and launch profiles.

Next, anonymously, women fill out a minimalistic form that rates companies using a set of criteria. From one to five stars, women rate their satisfaction on subjects like company opportunities, family, schedule and flexibility, and enrichment. For example, users give feedback on the following:

  • ‘Salary Satisfaction’
  • ‘Maternity & Adoptive Leave’
  • ‘Management Opportunities for Women’
  • ‘Female Representation in Leadership’
  • ‘Equal Opportunities for Women and Men’

Users are also given the opportunity to leave written feedback so they can go more in-depth about their individual experiences.

InHerSight then consolidates all of these ratings and reviews into an easily maneuverable format that women can browse and search. Users can filter the results by industry, company size, or star-rating if they want to only see results above or below a certain score.

There is also a part of the site that sections off the companies with the best reviews if women are looking to find those with proven positive environments. Already, the site has reviews of huge companies like Google, Amazon, Walmart, and Microsoft.

InHerSight’s Impact on Women in the WorkPlace

InHerSight has the potential to genuinely improve how companies treat women in more ways than one. The fact that reviews are easily accessible online holds companies accountable and could cause employers to become more proactive than reactive in heralding positive change.

Additionally, the site legitimately services women by providing them with information that is necessary, but otherwise extremely difficult to find. It’s rare to find public information critiquing a company’s culture. Hence, most of the time, women are just walking into situations blindly.

Another impact that InHerSight has on women in the workplace is offering up new, healthy employment opportunities. An important part of the InHerSight service is the analysis of all collected data to match users up with appropriate employment opportunities. Whatever values or priorities the user has specified, InHerSight can sift through its vast collection of reviews to find options. This is an invaluable service for women seeking fruitful, respectful employment.

Last but not least, InHerSight is responsible for creating a rare sense of community for women in the workplace. Women of all backgrounds and professions can unite in community discussions to ask for advice, answer each others’ questions, or simply bounce ideas back and forth.

More importantly, the site itself is just a digital web of support — a reminder that there are other people invested in each user’s success and that there is no room for women to be left behind anymore.

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