Photo: Some InHerSight team members celebrate International Women's Day 2022's theme "Break the Bias" with the signature arm-crossing gesture. Relive our 2022 campaign on Instagram.
Beth Castle: Goodbye, 2022. Hello, 2023!
If you’ve been an InHerSight user for a while, you’ve probably seen my name. I’m the managing editor here. I’ve been on staff for almost four years, which is truly wild to think about. I’m thrilled if you’ve stuck with us for that long.
This year was unique for me in that it was my first year with a direct report ever. Cara Hutto, a long time freelancer here, joined our team full time last December as our assistant editor. And a few weeks ago, we decided to commemorate our first year together with a recap of all of the amazing things we—and the wider InHerSight team—have accomplished in the past 12 months, because remembering and celebrating are so important.
But first, Cara, tell everyone about your journey with us.
Cara Hutto: It’s really been a dream for me. My journey here began at the tail end of my senior year of college, when I was looking for a summer job and stumbled upon a content marketing internship listing for InHerSight. I remember thinking the idea of working for a startup seemed so exciting, but it was the mission that really drew me in. After interning that summer in our tiny little beloved office space, I continued to freelance for InHerSight throughout a few moves around the world. This past year, when I heard you all were hiring for an assistant editor, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the team full time. The rest, as they say, is history.
Beth: And now we work together every day, all the time. I’m a glowing Slack dot to you. In all seriousness, having you on the team has been such a joy—and obviously presented a learning curve with me being a new manager. It’s very meta to learn how to manage while your direct report is literally writing an article called What Makes a Good Manager, According to Research. Super helpful article, by the way. What words of wisdom would you give folks starting new manager-direct report relationships?
Cara: Get to know each other on a personal level! Figuring out how to best navigate and work together on ongoing projects and goal-setting is obviously a necessary topic of discussion, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to treat each other like…human beings. It can be easy to busy yourself with training, delegating, and evaluating, but it’s imperative for managers to remember that employees have lives outside of work.
Beth: Totally. I remember reading once that Europeans have a “more partners than bosses” relationship. I like that a lot because it preserves the humanity of the dynamic. A partnership is a wonderful thing to strive for. In terms of accomplishments this year, what would you say stands out as a ‘Whoa, we did that’ kind of project?
Cara: Overhauling Instagram together was definitely a standout project for me. In the span of a few months, we brought so much more cohesion and organization to the page, hopefully making it easier for women to find helpful information quicker. I especially loved creating so many graphics for our Mother’s Day and Father’s Day campaigns and getting to see the final project come to life on social. Big shout out to Canva, and to Daniel Stapleton, our chief creative officer, who has an amazing eye for design and limitless amounts of patience when it comes to helping us create content.
Beth: I agree, 1,000 percent. I also love that you brought up finding information faster, because that feels like a common theme of 2022. So much of our content this year was about writing simple answers to complex questions. How do women change careers? What does an employee resource group actually do? What is company-provided abortion coverage, really? These topics can be murky and confusing. Our goal was transparency, and I think we achieved that.
With that said, for our end-of-year recap, we’ve selected a highlight reel, so to speak—and we asked some of our coworkers to weigh in on their favorite 2022-isms as well. Read on to explore our top articles, new features on InHerSight, fresh data, user and partner testimonials, and—shameless plug for our unlimited paid time off policy—our favorite staff vacations of the year. Cara and I will walk you through it all.
The best of the best: 6 articles we loved in 2022
Beth: We wouldn’t be an editorial team if we didn’t love content—and whew, we produce a lot of it. We both selected our favorite articles from 2022 with an eye toward InHerSight data, diversity, and alignment with our company's mission to improve the workplace for women.
Cara: At the beginning of the year, in partnership with bereavement advocacy nonprofit Evermore, we surveyed more than 1,300 women about their knowledge of miscarriage and stillbirth rights at work. Survey results revealed that many women (77 percent) aren’t aware that miscarriage leave is covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—nor do they know how to advocate for those rights—even though as many as half of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage. This piece, which I wrote, outlines what kinds of rights women are entitled to under the FMLA and goes on to offer example language on how women can speak to their managers about miscarriage and choose what to disclose. Plus, we explain how managers can appropriately discuss miscarriage, ensuring employees feel safe, supported, and cared for throughout the process.
Beth: In March, we published a four-part series about the different ways women work, covering paid work (of course), emotional labor, caregiving and unpaid labor, and assimilation. While all of these topics were important in shedding light on how women expend energy—and how much of that drain does or doesn’t reap a financial reward—“assimilation” felt so unacknowledged yet important in how people navigate our world, especially people of color. Having to hide parts of who you are to fit into the dominant culture is exhausting and time-consuming, not to mention extremely problematic. The sheer existence of assimilation makes you wonder what exemplary qualities our companies and communities are missing because so many refuse to accept diversity in even the most baseline of terms: how we present ourselves.
Cara: I’m sure many of us have dreamed of taking a break from work to travel the world (I know I have…) or of going back to school to pursue a new and exciting career path. So, what holds us back? Fear, uncertainty, and the possibility of failure. But big, career-defining decisions like these can also lead to unimaginable growth and success—and happiness. In this installment of our Career Trajectories series, we heard from four women who took time off to soul search, skill up, or rest and recover. My favorite quote comes from Kristin Marschhauser, director of ecosystem and infrastructure at DoorDash: “After 14 years of working nonstop, taking a year to be a human ‘being’ instead of a human ‘doing’ was life-changing.”
Beth: I loved conducting this interview because it was super interesting to talk to a big company that’s very publicly all-in on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in really foundational ways. While no company is perfect, Netflix practices an everyday mindset change called the “inclusion lens” while also addressing policy. The pairing of culture and policy in DEI strategy is such a green flag. It means they get it.
Cara: As more and more systemic inequalities have been brought to light over the past two years, many companies have understandably started prioritizing interview questions about DEI to make sure candidates understand the necessity of creating an inclusive workplace—and feel capable of upholding their values. Here, we cover nine important workplace diversity questions, why they’re asked, and how to answer them honestly in an interview.
Beth: One of the ways our editorial team makes the workplace better for women—and everyone—is by ensuring people can find the information they’re looking for, which is why this article and our other inclusive benefits roundups are so important. They’re living resources that we update with new information as needed. I love that we have resources to help ease the job search and get people the support they need, fast.
New on InHerSight: Our team’s favorite newly released features of 2022
Beth: While you as a user might not have been aware of every tiny change on the InHerSight platform over the past year, the InHerSight team has been hard at work creating new, innovative, and, dare I say it, cool ways to understand how women experience the workforce.
More insightful ways to look at data
Some of our favorite new-in-2022 features tap our data, aka the foundation of everything we do. Ursula Mead, our CEO and cofounder, says two data-driven features are her favorites from the past year: our two new top companies lists for Sense of Belonging and Support for Diversity, which streamline the data we’ve been collecting since the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement, and our new age filters on our company scorecards, which help users view ratings through yet another important demographic lens. Daniel adds, “I’m really happy that this paid maternity leave page is out there. We have so much meaningful data that answer key questions our audience might have, and these kinds of hubs are a great way to put that information to use.”
Better ways to learn about and promote partner companies committed to gender equity
This year, we also changed the way we feature and promote companies on our platform, updating our sponsored content process and adding an Employer Editorial calendar to help companies authentically and transparently tell their stories with the guidance of the people who know working women best. Us.
“Our editorial team continues to do a brilliant job helping our partner companies tell their unique stories through the voices we know our audience want and need to hear most: the employees,” says Grace Ward, customer success manager. “Whereas our sponsored content options used to focus on featuring one employee in promoted articles, we now offer the opportunity to include multiple viewpoints. This is a big win-win, as it allows for more diverse stories to be told and for more employees to be highlighted and celebrated.”
Dymond Generette, associate account executive, says, “Our Employer Editorial calendar is one of my favorite features that we have, and I love sharing this feature to potential partners! Many companies are great at talking about themselves (rightfully so), but we're a place where companies and women have an equal seat at the table, and our content team does an amazing job balancing the voices/experiences of women with the company story. And a bonus to employers that use storytelling is that they see twice as many apply clicks!”
You can explore how we promote our partners here.
Updates to our job descriptions and application process
How long does the average job application take? Too long. That’s why this year, we released a Quick Apply feature that allows InHerSight users to apply to jobs using their user profile. Ursula says that’s another favorite feature of hers from the year.
Jenn Roche, director of strategic accounts, says hers is part of the job search process, too: We added articles on the bottom of employer ratings pages and on job descriptions. For women job seekers, that means firsthand experiences from women at our partner companies are featured alongside company reviews and open positions—essentially, all of the information you need to choose the best workplace for you is at your fingertips.
So beneficial: The best company benefits we’ve seen on the platform this year
Cara: A comprehensive job benefits package is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. About 60 percent of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer, and 80 percent of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise. Plus, remote work, increased child care and household responsibilities, and widespread burnout due to the pandemic have drastically altered what women want and need from their employers. Here, a few team members weigh in on the best benefits they’ve seen on the platform and why they’re so great.
Benefits related to remote work, flexible hours, and time off
Ursula says flexible work hours and unlimited paid time off send the signal that companies trust their employees and want to be supportive of them as people with more to them than just work.
Jenn says two companies come to mind when she thinks of embracing remote work: dbt Labs and Boats Group. Boats Group has been working in a fully remote environment since March 2020, and dbt Labs offers a “remote-first” culture.
Another that stands out? Nitro, Inc offers a “90 Days Away” program that allows employees to travel and explore while working from anywhere. Employees can extend vacations and spend more time with family, and work from anywhere for up to 90 days. That’s a benefit we can all get behind. You can learn more about companies with remote work and flexible benefits here.
Benefits that support both new parents and aspiring parents
Being a new parent is exhausting, and Milhouse Engineering & Construction definitely gets that. To ease the transition into parenthood, the company gifts new parents with a year’s supply of free diapers, as well as part-time offerings to ensure no one burns out.
For aspiring parents, explore our list of companies that offer awesome fertility benefits.
Learning benefits that foster professional growth
Ursula says learning benefits and programs are increasingly important to women, but they can be difficult to implement in the remote world. A few companies that are excelling at offering learning opportunities and professional development?
“I love Clever's professional development benefits—employees can spend up to $500 every year on learning and development opportunities that will further develop their skills and knowledge as it relates to their role!" says Jenn.
At Buzzer, employees can participate in the Strive Mentorship program as a mentor to participating students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Grace loves Reward Gateway’s “Book Benefit,” which offers employees unlimited free books to support professional development and one fiction book per month to help unwind.
Impressive compensation benefits
“After looking at a fraction of [benefits], I think [some] of the ones I’m drawn to most are related to interesting compensation benefits,” says Daniel. “EBSCO Information Services offers profit-sharing, and thoughtbot compensates candidates who make it to the final interview of their interview process.”
Amazon offers a reimbursement of up to 95 percent of your student loan debt, according to CNBC. Another recently added benefit? Free college tuition for frontline workers via the Career Choice program, which also includes funds for books and fees. Take a look at our list of other companies helping employees pay off student loans.
Mental and physical health benefits
Health and wellness benefits are a huge drawing factor to employees, especially following the stress of the pandemic. To support mental health, Violet provides a minimum of one day off per month either for national holidays or quarterly "wellness days" to give employees a chance to recharge and rebalance.
Jenn’s favorite mental health and wellbeing examples come from Intuit and Supernatural. Intuit’s benefits page reads, "Intuit wants you to be healthy in all aspects of your life. Regular employees are eligible to receive up to $1,300 per fiscal year for expenses related to the physical, emotional, or financial well-being of you and your family." Supernatural’s "Invest in You" program allows employees to submit expenses in three categories (fitness, mental wellness and self-care, and family support and treatment programs) for reimbursement, up to a monthly cap.
Grace adds that Reward Gateway’s Menopause Support—support and flexible working for those employees dealing with menopause—is a favorite benefit.
Lastly, here’s how our team spent their time off—because that absolutely matters
Cara: While our team definitely understands the importance of working hard, they also realize the benefits of stepping away from work. Taking time off work can improve your sleep, energy, and overall mental wellbeing. It’s also a beneficial burnout prevention strategy, which is why our team has found some very fun ways to recharge this year.
In March, I flew to Spain with my brother and best friend. Playing cards over plates of tapas, drinking too many espressos, journaling on the beach, and roaming through cobblestone alleyways definitely took my mind off of work for a few days.
Beth: I traveled to Canada with a group of friends over the summer and spent a long weekend at a lake house cooking, going for walks and runs, laughing, and lounging. I also unintentionally took a break from the outside world since most of my friends (myself included) forgot to update our phone carriers when we crossed the border.
Cara: We both came back feeling refreshed, restored, and inspired.
Beth: And a little bit competitive about our next travel plans. We, meaning you and I, have this running joke about always booking another trip after the other person travels. I think I booked my Ireland trip after you went to Mexico…
Cara: You’re right, it’s a fun little game. I’m about to head off to Mexico again for the holidays…so I guess it’s time for you to start planning your next vacation again.
Enough about us. Here’s what some of our coworkers got up to…
“My favorite vacation of 2022 (and maybe my whole life?!) was my trip to Hawaii. It included the perfect balance of leisure and adventure, and I got to eat sushi every day (a true dream of mine). I also got to reconnect with old friends without the distraction of any of our kids, which is a rarity nowadays.” —Grace
“I’m going to say starting the year off on the island of Procida was a highlight for me. Because it was off-season, it was very quiet and peaceful and I had a great time walking all around the island, poking my nose into tiny alleyways, taking pointless pictures of flowers, and listening to seagulls from my little flat at the marina.” —Daniel
“Favorite vacation of 2022 was staying with our good friends in North Carolina for a full week. They are the easiest and coziest of friends, and they have kids near in age to our own, so the kids and the adults both had a great time relaxing, going on small jaunts, and eating lots of homemade cookies and home-brewed beer.” —Barbara (pictured, with her kids)
Thank you, again, for reading! We look forward to continuing our work in 2023.