What is it that women really want?  

Hi! My name is Adrian Landstrom, and this past summer I was one of three interns at CoWomen. I’m a third year public health student at the University of Texas at Austin.

Interning at CoWomen was a big leap for me – flying across the country, not knowing anyone, having my first business-y kind of job – it was a lot to take in. But, when I got to CoWomen, all of those nerves faded away. The space had an instant feeling of support and encouragement from all the kickass (wo)men here who are absolutely changing the world, the team, and the members. 10/10 would recommend it! 

During my internship, I focused on research about diversity and inclusion, planning some future (and very exciting!) projects for CoWomen. Scrolling through endless articles and research journals, I confirmed a few things I already knew in my heart: female representation, especially in leadership positions, is still lacking. Increasing that number would lead to so many benefits, monetary and not, for companies, the economy, and society. In all of my research, I noticed one idea missing. What is it that women actually want in a workplace, and is that really different from what men want?

The future of work survey

As one of my internship projects, I created, sent out, and analyzed a survey, titled the future of work, asking this very question. My objective was to identify what is lacking in the workplace for the retention of women. In the end, I got fifty-five responses across multiple countries, fields, ages, and genders. Unsurprisingly, everyone ranked feeling appreciated and valued as the most important factor in choosing or staying at a job. I think that speaks to our most instinctual human needs, and is common across all people of all backgrounds. Past that, the results got more interesting!

For instance, men valued things such as benefits. Women, however, placed high importance on work-life balance, family accommodations, and a mission that fits with their values and passions. Looking at this, I have to wonder whether this originates from true differences by gender, societal conditioning for women as caretakers and men as the breadwinners, or something entirely different. However, that is a very complicated question for another time! Maybe even for another CoWomen internship? 

I included the rest of the results below for all those other stats geeks like myself. But, please keep in mind that these results are generalizations. Not every man or woman is the same, nor do they value the same things in the workplace. 

The future of work survey results
The future of work survey results.

Bidding adieu!

Throughout this whole internship and in my experience at CoWomen, I saw rising women who are ready to make big moves in their careers and the lives of others. Unfortunately, I also saw a lot of waiting on their workplaces to support them in their goals. But, sometimes that leads them to places like CoWomen! Places where they can seek the extra inspiration, tools, and support to reach their full leadership potential. That’s exactly what the Female Leadership Circle at CoWomen is doing: to change the future of work! I would highly recommend checking it out if any of this described you!