5 of America’s Largest Public Companies Leading the Way for Women in the Workplace

One-third of Etsy engineers are women, which is around double the industry average. (Etsy)

Equal Pay Day this year fell on Wednesday, March 24, meaning that it would have taken until then for the average American woman to make what the average American man did the previous year. For Black, Native American, and Latina women, those dates stretch into August, September, and October, respectively. This year’s day for bringing awareness came at a moment where as a country we are taking stock of the COVID-19 pandemic’s especially severe impact on working women, particularly for  mothers serving as primary caregivers for their children. As of last month, only 57% of women in the United States were working or looking for work, the lowest labor participation since 1988.

JUST Capital’s survey research from the past year has made clear that regardless of which government policies get enacted during and following the pandemic, Americans expect corporations to play their part in taking care of their workers. With that as a backdrop and Women’s History Month drawing to a close, we joined CNBC in finding and putting a spotlight on the companies that are doing best by the women in their organization.

We considered the 928 large public corporations we tracked in our 2021 Rankings of America’s Most JUST Companies, and looked at board gender diversity and pay gap analysis, along with paid parental leave, backup dependent care, and paid time off or vacation policies. Only five companies – Bank of America, Etsy, General Mills, HPE, and Starbucks – checked all the boxes.

Further, only 12% of companies have over 35% or more women on their board, 21% of companies reported conducting a pay equity analysis, 14.5% offer dependent care, and fewer than 42% offered paid parental leave.

The online marketplace Etsy rose to the top not only for its policies, but for its representation of women across the company, including its C-suite and board – it was the only company of the five to have 50% of its board be women. Raina Moskowitz, the company’s Chief Operations, Strategy & People Officer, told CNBC, “Knowing that I have the support of my company, to be proud that I’m a parent in the workplace, is something that is really special and unique to Etsy.”

You can watch the CNBC segment here, reported by Rahel Solomon for The News with Shepard Smith.

Below, we’ve highlighted board representation and key policies that benefit women at the five standout companies.

Bank of America

A Bank of America retail location. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Bank based in Charlotte, North Carolina – Ranked 12th in the JUST 100

As part of its commitment to supporting working families, Bank of America offers 40 days of backup child and adult care for when employees’ care arrangements fall through. The company also discloses industry-leading paid parental leave provisions. While other banks also offer 16 weeks of maternity leave, Bank of America is the only to offer 16 weeks of fully paid leave for primary caregivers, secondary caregivers, and adoptive parents.


An Etsy display in Times Square on the day of its IPO in 2015. (Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

Online marketplace based in Brooklyn, New York – Ranked 92nd in the JUST 100

Etsy is another company offering industry-leading paid parental leave. The company offers 26 weeks of fully paid leave for primary caregivers, secondary caregivers, and adoptive parents, the highest amount in the retail industry and in the overall JUST Capital universe. Half of Etsy’s board of directors is female, making the company an industry-leader in board gender diversity.

General Mills

Wheaties is one of General Mills’ iconic cereal brands. (Manny Carabel/Getty Images)

Consumer foods company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota – Ranked 23rd in the JUST 100

General Mills partnered with Bright Horizons to offer an infant care center to employees. In addition to offering paid parental leave and paid time off to employees, the company promotes gender equity by conducting regular pay equity reviews.


HPE’s San Jose campus. (HPE)

Enterprise computer services company based in Houston, Texas – Ranked 46 in the JUST 100

HPE offers the highest amount of weeks for paid parental leave in its industry, at 24 weeks for primary caregivers, secondary caregivers, and adoptive parents.


A Starbucks worker during COVID. (Starbucks)

Coffee and food company based in Seattle, Washington – Ranked 68 in the JUST 100

Gender pay equity is a critical component of supporting working mothers, and Starbucks announced in 2018 that the company had reached 100% pay equity for across gender and race. The company also offers 10 days of subsidized backup dependent care through their Care@Work partnership with Care.com. Employees receive additional support with a premium membership to Care.com, and access to the platform’s digital network of care providers.

Kavya Vaghul, Sam Schrager, and Robert Marsh conducted analysis for this piece.

Have questions about our research and rankings?  We want to hear from you!