Advancing Workplaces Where Women Thrive

Creating more inclusive spaces for a brighter future (no matter the month)
Mar 20, 2024 2:25 PM ET
Campaign: IWBI | Equity

At the heart of our mission lies a commitment to creating a more equitable and just world by transforming communities through people-first spaces. Central to this is integrating gender equity into the fabric of our work, advancing workplaces that are not just inclusive, but actively supportive of women.

Numerous features within the WELL Standard address gender equity in the workplace, from spaces and resources that support breastfeeding parents to policies that ensure pay equity. Current beta features also reward organizations for providing enhanced health benefits, including reproductive services and care, often excluded or only partially covered in many employer based health plans. Moreover, WELL strategies support women–and all individuals–impacted by domestic violence, further proof that a rising tide lifts all boats. Other WELL features address sufficient amounts of parental leave based upon research showing the positive impact of parental leave on both the well-being of the child and job continuity for women. In fact, encouraging the use of paternity leave is particularly crucial, as it helps level the playing field for women by not only promoting shared responsibility in caregiving, but also enhancing family bonding and better supporting equality in the workplace.

At IWBI, we view every step forward, including across each of our 74,000 commercial and residential locations that participate in WELL programs, as progress toward fostering change that promotes equity. And the future holds even greater possibilities, with extensive opportunities to deepen our commitments and drive greater impact.

Woonerf was the first organization in the world to achieve the WELL Equity Rating, a framework that helps companies take action toward their diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility goals, while improving company culture and employee health and well-being. On its career page, Woonerf showcases its values, clearly articulating benefits that align with or are based upon WELL features. They share employee statistics, including the rate of parental leave taken for those eligible. The figure of those who took leave? 100%.

And for us, creating a workplace where women can thrive isn’t just a goal—it’s our reality. IWBI’s executive team is majority female, with women comprising nearly 60% of our leadership. Research has shown that well-being and sustainability are topics where women historically feel a greater sense of inclusion, which is reflected across our global organization, as women make up a whopping 86% of our workforce. This representation at the top not only fosters diversity, but also serves as a powerful catalyst for attracting female talent, as women see themselves reflected in the leadership landscape.

But it’s not just about numbers—it’s about creating environments where everyone feels welcomed, supported and empowered to be their best selves. According to IWBI’s 2023 State of Workforce Well-Being Poll, conducted by The Harris Poll, female employees are more likely than males to feel most productive outside of a company-provided office–a nod to the case for hybrid and remote-work models, and an important signal to organizations to offer flexibility to their employees.

Designing workplaces with women in mind isn’t just a win for women—it’s a win for everyone. By prioritizing gender equity in workplace design, we’re not only creating, and inspiring the creation of, healthier and more vibrant communities, but leading the way toward a more equitable and inclusive future for all.

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