Hiring and retaining women in tech takes more than just offering a competitive salary. Women with in-demand skills know their worth and expect companies to also compensate them with benefits that are meaningful.
Benefits are especially important for women in tech, both because of the demands of working in the industry and because tech hasn’t necessarily been a place where women have been valued and supported.
By prioritizing benefits that align with women’s needs and values, and spotlighting them in your job descriptions, you can more easily attract and retain top women in tech, saving you time and money in hiring and making your company more successful. Talk about a win/win/win!
We recently surveyed our community of 120,000+ Tech Ladies about what benefits are at the top of their list when they’re considering a position. Read on for the results that you should seriously consider including in all your future job posts!
The Most Popular Benefits for Women in Tech
Tech Ladies who put it in the top 5: 93%
We weren't surprised to see flexible work take the top spot in our survey!
The ability to work remotely all the time, work from home one day each week, or even work a shifted schedule (say 7-3p instead of 9-5p) is super compelling for women in tech. And, post-Covid, it's went from a "nice to have" to a requirement for many job seekers.
If your benefits budget is limited, offering flexibility in when and where work gets done is a great way to make your total compensation package more compelling. It shows candidates that you understand that a successful workplace isn't 'one size fits all,' and that you care more about the quality of their work than you do when and how they complete it.
A workplace built around this mindset can be especially attractive (or even absolutely necessary) for women who need flexible work to balance their caretaking and professional responsibilities.
Paid Time Off
Tech Ladies who put it in the top 5: 87%
Paid Time Off (PTO) increases employees’ well-being and reduces the risk of burnout. Giving generous (or even unlimited) leave is both a short-term and long-term investment in your team. It's also incredibly important for recruitment.
While the average US employee only has 10-15 vacation days each year, the tech industry skews twice as high. 15 days is the minimum amount of time off that a company can offer and still be competitive in our experience. Many tech workers expect to work hard and be rewarded with ample, or even unlimited, time off as a result.
Tech Ladies who put it in the top 5: 86%
Offering your employees (and their families) access to a company-sponsored health plan is a de facto requirement for all companies in the US, and an actual legal requirements for those with more than 50 employees. Tech Ladies expect this as a matter of course.
Most tech companies fully cover the cost of the employee's monthly premiums for a Silver plan or better. You can make your offering more competitive by fully-covering a higher-tier plan with more comprehensive coverage, subsidizing family members they may add to their plan, and adding additional coverage for things like dental, vision, and mental health services.
Tech Ladies who put it in the top 5: 55%
An increasing number of Tech Ladies are prioritizing their financial future, but many startups are slower to adopt formal retirement savings plans.
Offering a 401k plan is a great way for earlier stage companies to stand out with their benefits package, but it's a de facto requirement for later-stage companies who want to remain competitive. It allows you to support employees by giving them access to a tax-advantaged retirement account that they can't access as an individual.
A 401k plan with a 3% match (or better) is standard, although some companies will match up to 5%.
Regardless of what you choose, make sure to list this benefit (and the match percentage!) in your job description and offer letter.
Tech Ladies who put it in the top 5: 50%
Tech Ladies is a community for women who are motivated to grow their careers so it's no surprise that professional development opportunities were one of the first things they looked for once the more standard benefits (like health insurance and a 401k) were covered.
Professional development can take a lot of different forms, depending on the company and the individual role. This allows you to really customize the support you offer based on the size and makeup of your team, as well as your budget.
Some popular options include:
- Annual stipends to attend conferences, pay for certifications, or seek additional training (Pro tip: Specify a dollar amount per employee to reduce bias in who gets approved for what. And include that amount in your list of benefits!)
- Internal training and/or mentorship programs, especially around leadership and people management
- Company-covered subscriptions to resources that help them on the job, like Frontend Masters or LinkedIn Learning
Companies that proactively provide learning opportunities like these can build a culture of learning and fill in business-critical skill gaps at the same time. For example, many of our hiring partners purchase seats for our Leadership Accelerator that they then offer to ERG members and emerging leaders on their team.
For many women in tech, it's often less about the specifics and more about knowing that you support their career growth in really tangible ways. It's easy to say you support women in tech, but being able to point to some concrete initiatives is a lot more meaningful!
Bonus or Profit Sharing
Tech Ladies who put it in the top 5: 30%
Tech Ladies want to work hard and be rewarded for their performance. If they go above and beyond, their compensation should reflect that.
Building in opportunities for performance-based bonuses or profit-sharing can be a very competitive addition to your compensations package. And it's a win/win! It's motivating to the right employee, and allows you to better control for risk.
Stock Options or Equity
Tech Ladies who put it in the top 5: 15%
There are lots of Tech Ladies out there who want to join a fast-growing company and create an outsized success. They want to be rewarded for their commitment and hard work with a piece of the payoff.
Offering them a stake in the company makes it much more compelling to take a risk on your company! Especially when it comes to earlier-stage companies who are still unproven. And, as a bonus, you will be doing your part to narrow the gender wealth gap in tech.
The Least Popular Perks for Women in Tech
It's not surprising to see that the least-ranked items in our survey are all perks, versus traditional benefits.
These offerings can still be fun or helpful, but they're not likely to help you close an offer or sway a current employee. Offering them should solve another program, or fill another need on the team outside of recruitment and retention.
- Home office equipment or stipend (13%)
- Mental health support (12%)
- Parental leave (12%)
- Company retreats or team events (7%)
- Wellness programs (7%)
- Employee recognition programs (5%)
- Childcare assistance (4%)
- Employee discounts (4%)
- Office perks (nice space, snacks, etc.) (4%)
- Employee assistance programs (3%)
- Relocation support (3%)
- Coworking stipend (1%)
In our experience, many of these perks can be good in theory but less helpful in practice. For example, many childcare assistance programs only work with certain with types of daycares, and not smaller, in-home providers. And wellness programs are often tied to specific platforms, when employees might already have an established routine with another therapist or support group.
A Note on Parental Leave
We were initially surprised to see that Parental Leave ranked so low in this survey. Just 12% of Tech Ladies said it was one of the top five benefits they looked for! But, upon reflection, we think this makes sense.
In another survey taken earlier this summer, only 50% of Tech Ladies said they were a parent or planned to become a parent soon. It's likely that, of those, only a much smaller group is planning to grow their families in the next 2-3 years.
If you're not planning to use parental leave in the role, it makes sense that you wouldn't prioritize it when asked about your top five benefits.
We continue to believe that parental leave is an essential benefit for tech companies, regardless of whether it's useful for recruitment. Please offer as much paid leave as you can for all new parents on your team!
Making the Most of Your Benefits & Perks
No matter where each of the benefits and perks ranked in our survey, you can improve your chances of finding more women in tech by including them in your job postings. These are an important part of your total compensation package, and can be super compelling for candidates!
We've spotlighted some hiring partners who do this well. Feel free to use them as inspiration!
And, for even more tips and insights into building a diverse and inclusive team, check out our other articles on hiring women in tech and take advantage of our powerful hiring partnerships to really save time and effort finding top tech talent.