The rankings are determined by three questions that are part of a broader workplace survey. Respondents are asked about their overall job satisfaction, perceived gender equality at work, and whether they would recommend their employer to other women. They rate each question on a scale of one to five, with each question representing a third of the overall score. The ratings are averaged to make each company’s score, out of a total of 100 possible points. This year, Boston Consulting Group was the top scorer with 86.3 points.
Huang stressed the quality of reviews over quantity: “The comments are what brings this to life.” She also noted that “people feel more comfortable replying when they work at bigger companies.”
14,822 women responded to this year’s survey — about 5,000 more than last year. To earn a spot in the rankings, a company must receive at least 30 ratings. Most companies received between 50 and 150 responses. The Fairygodboss staff is not editorially involved in the rankings.
“Our platform is about letting women’s voices stand for themselves. It doesn’t matter what we think,” says Huang.
There half a dozen tech companies on the list — Apple, Cisco, Microsoft, Google, IBM and Intel all made the cut — but notably absent are Amazon, Twitter and Facebook. Facebook and Twitter didn’t have enough employee reviews to qualify for the list, while Amazon wasn’t in the top 25.
“There are a lot of tech companies here, which surprises me because tech typically gets a bad rap for women,” says Huang. “But it’s hard to generalize across a whole industry. Media reports tend to be extreme. You’ll hear about an incident and think it’s a terrible place to work. But when a company is filled with tens of thousands of employees, it’s important to capture those negative experiences, but they also don’t necessarily represent the average.”
If you don’t work at one of these companies but are looking for ways to negotiate improvements at your company, Huang suggests using this list as a conversation starter.
“An employee at Coca-Cola reached out to us — she wasn’t in HR. She said she was trying to improve her company’s policies, and she used the site to campaign for better parental leave,” says Huang.
“She’d been searching for their competitors to put the case together and show her manager. Eight months later, she reached out to say they were successful in changing the policy. She wasn’t even pregnant. She was looking on behalf of a friend who didn’t want to ask HR.”
Huang noted that the Coca-Cola policy was not strictly about maternity leave — it applied to all parents. The woman had brought it to her employee resource group and positioned it as a millennial issue rather than a women’s issue.
While benefits like parental leave are important, it’s not most people’s number one priority. Huang says in other surveys they’ve done, 80% of women take a job without even knowing the details of the maternity leave policy.
So what is the most important reason someone takes a job? It’s not the perks, it’s the pay.
This post originally appeared in Women@Forbes, where Alexandra Dickinson is a contributor. She writes about how to use a negotiation mindset to achieve your goals.