Want an inside scoop on companies and their work culture before taking a job?
A new site with a mission to improve the workplace for women could do just that.
Fairygodboss.com lets women anonymously post information about their workplace, including parental leave policies and personal experiences, both positive and negative.
The idea started when Georgene Huang couldn't find certain information about companies during her job search, including maternity leave policy.
"I was two months pregnant at the time, so you can imagine that was a pretty awkward thing to talk about. I hadn't even told my friends, much less was I comfortable sharing with my prospective employers," Huang said Monday on "CBS This Morning."
She collaborated with co-founder and former Dow Jones colleague Romy Newman to create a site that could help better inform women about prospective employers.
"Maternity leave is only a finite amount of time. Would a company be a fair place to work in the future? Do they treat women and men equally? And would I be negatively judged and mommy-trapped?" Huang said.
As more tech companies expand parental leave benefits and leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announce paternity leave decisions, it's a site that could prove useful for those hesitant to ask about particular benefits.
Fairygodboss found 65 percent of women surveyed said they were uncomfortable asking about maternity benefit details during interviews, and 80 percent join companies without a full understanding of the policies.
"There's a stigma that goes with it," Newman said. "If you're interviewing and you said, 'What's your maternity leave?' The sort of signal you're sending is, 'I'm going to be going on leave soon,' and that's a risky hire."
In order to make sure the information on the site is legitimate, the Fairygodboss team asks the reviewer to sign a terms and condition that attests to the accuracy of their review and every review is scrutinized to "make sure it passes a smell test." The reviewer must also confirm an email address although the site allows the person to remain anonymous.
"We've been very encouraged by how balanced the feedback has been," Huang said. "Because at first we thought this is a review site. This may become an outlet for negativity. But even the women who are unhappy are giving specific reasons as to why."
Huang said creating transparency will help improve the workplace for women.
"Employers also are interested in how they can improve. There are specific actions they can take ... and so we hope that when women share this information, employers listen and make some changes when necessary," Huang said.
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