In 2022, These 3 Companies Are Leading the Way for Women in the Workplace

For last year’s Women’s History Month, we worked with The News with Shephard Smith to shine a light on the challenges of the “she-cession” and spotlight companies that were leading on issues that would help create a more equitable recovery on the other side of the pandemic.

Since then, more women have rejoined the workforce, but recent analysis by the National Women’s Law Center shows that while men have completely recouped pandemic employment losses, there are still 1.1 million fewer women participating in the labor force than in February 2020. Most recently: only 39,000 women over 20 joined the workforce in January 2022, compared to 1 million men, and while the economy gained 467,000 jobs, just 40% of those went to women.

In a recent survey conducted with SSRS we asked Americans what they think are key challenges relating to women’s experiences in the workplace and 76% of Americans identified access to childcare, while 70% noted equal pay, and 62% noted access to paid family leave as key challenges for women in the workplace. Clearly more is needed from corporate America to help women to thrive in the workforce. Last year’s analysis looked at how America’s largest companies were performing across five key performance indicators that support women in the workplace – including board gender diversity, pay equity, dependent care, parental leave, and paid time off. Just five companies hit those five thresholds: Bank of America, Etsy, General Mills, HPE, and Starbucks.

In 2022, that list grew to eight companies, including Bank of America, Edwards Lifesciences, Etsy, Goldman Sachs, Merck & Co, SVB Financial Group, Synchrony Financial, and The Estee Lauder Companies. Because of more stringent performance criteria this year, three companies – General Mills, HPE, and Starbucks – that appeared in our 2021 analysis dropped out of the 2022 list of top performers.

In order to learn which companies stood out from this group, we refined our metrics further, looking at whether companies:

  1. Have at least 35% women on their boards of directors.
  2. Disclose the results of both gender and race pay equity analyses.
  3. Offer backup dependent care.
  4. Provide paid parental leave of 12 weeks or longer for both caregivers.
  5. Have a paid time off policy.
  6. Offer flexible work hours to support work-life balance.

Based on these expanded criteria, three companies stand out as leading the way – Merck & Co, Synchrony Financial, and Etsy. Read on to explore additional details and links to their disclosures:

Merck & Co

Merck’s San Francisco office. (Sundry Photography/Getty Images)

Ranked 1st in its industry and 26th overall

Pharmaceuticals & Biotech company based in Kenilworth, NJ

As part of its extensive benefits package, Merck recently implemented a 12-week minimum global paid parental time off program for employees. Furthermore, the company has displayed its commitment to advancing the careers of women in its workforce by conducting regular internal reviews to ensure pay equity, as well as by promoting a “Women in Leadership” program to push for greater female representation in Senior Leadership positions.

Synchrony Financial

A Synchrony office in Charlotte, North Carolina. (J. Michael Jones/Getty Images)

Ranked 5th in its industry and 54th overall

Commercial Support Services Company based in Stamford, CT

Synchrony Financial stands out within its industry when it comes to supporting its employees’ families. In addition to offering 12 weeks of paid parental leave, Synchrony has created an after school program for children of employees to receive tutoring, extracurricular activities, and wellness support. 


Etsy headquarters in Brooklyn. (John Penney/Getty Images)

Ranked 7th in its industry and 102nd overall

Retail company based in Brooklyn, NY

As a leading company that has stood out on these issues year after year, Etsy goes above and beyond in supporting its employees by offering 26 weeks of fully paid gender neutral parental leave alongside globally available childcare services. Additionally, Etsy continues to lead in Board Gender Diversity, with 50% of its board comprised of women. 

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