Imagine Next: You’re A Boss
Looking back in time to the 1980s, you might see a lot of headlines about the number of women in the workforce tripling since the 1950s. However, the truth is that women have always worked, whether that be on a farm or in the home, taking care of children or managing the household—these were just unpaid roles. And in 2022 women have more power to decide where and how they want to work, which means that it’s more important than ever for organizations to be unwavering in their commitment to equity and equality in the workforce.
Though embraced by some, phrases like “girl boss,” “boss babe,” and “lady boss” can be viewed as reductive by others. For women at Parsons, who have careers with upward mobility that require a level of education, grit, talent, and emotional intelligence that extends beyond social media–fueled stereotypes, perhaps the most apt phrase is “boss,” full stop, because here empowerment is not gendered.
When you have a company like Parsons that’s committed to diversity and inclusion in the workforce, including an employee business resource group for women and allies called the Parsons Women’s Roundtable that’s dedicated to creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment through the internal and global advancement of women—as well as a culture that promotes flexibility and teamwork—women can be assured of equal opportunities while also finding themselves in the enviable position of not having to choose between a career and family and a rich home life.
Enter our compensation department, an HR arm that includes a group of four women who refer to themselves as the Core Four and are responsible for both companywide broad-based compensation and incentive compensation. According to Emily Miller, a specialist on the incentive compensation side of the department, the support and connection the Core Four have is fostered not only by Parsons’ 9/80 schedule offering, which allows many of our employees to take every other Friday off, but also by more nuanced, arguably more important, means of support. “I’ve worked at companies before where you watch the clock. These places feel sterile, and you just can’t wait until you get home and your real life can begin. But here, I’m listened to. I’m a priority. I’m encouraged to ask questions and develop ideas that are put into action. And everyone on our team is really intentional about building personal relationships with one another, which makes our individual growth easier to achieve,” shares Emily.
Emily and the rest of the Core Four, who all have small kids, can flex their hours when necessary to run their child to a doctor’s appointment or take their car into the shop during the workday because they understand each other’s needs and know how committed everyone on their team is to producing and completing quality work every day. They can take a much-needed and well-deserved vacation without having to check their phones, like Emily was able to when she spent two-and-a-half weeks cruising around Europe with her family. Because of their commitment to Parsons and each other, nothing at work—or at home—is sacrificed.
This focus on a positive work environment in which everyone feels a sense of belonging and appreciation for the work they do starts at the top and resonates at every level of our workforce. Emily says, “Having a successful workplace culture comes from our leadership, the women and all the people I’ve worked with at Parsons who have made me feel valued, respected, and heard and have created an atmosphere of openness that fosters relationships with coworkers who feel safe to provide the constructive criticism we all need to grow.”
Women new to the workforce, re-entering the workforce, or looking to make a career change should be able to make choices and decisions without discrimination. And critical to making an informed choice is the knowledge that there are companies out there today, like Parsons, that not only imagine but know what’s next in terms of offering women flexibility, leadership opportunities, emotional and professional support, as well as inspiration from and guidance to the top. That way, whether at home or at a traditional job, women can truly be the boss of their own lives—no qualifier necessary.