Hiring has never been easy in SaaS.  In the old days, it was hard just because there weren’t enough seasoned candidates.  Today, it’s hard because there are 1000x more SaaS startups before. It’s always been hard.

But it’s not necessarily harder — it’s just different.  And key to winning the best talent is knowing what they really care about, not just what you think they care about.

With that, Women in Revenue had a great recent 2022 Annual Report you should download here on how things have, and haven’t, changed in the workplace since Covid, The Great Resignation, and more.

A few important take-aways:

#1. Transparent compensation information is concern #1.  So many startups screw this up, but you can fix it now.  This week. First, note that only 42% of women executives felt they were sure they were being paid the same as their male peers.  That’s a huge issue.  Go fix it.  Now.

Second, many of us worry about being fully transparent with compensation.  It’s time to get over it.  You have to at least assume everyone knows each other’s compensation, and better yet, be able to share as much as possible.  Concern #1 was a lack of transparent compensation information.  Fix this today.  And make 100.00% sure women are paid equally to men in your org, today:

#2.  21% of women in pro-serv and rev ops roles report sexual harassment.  This is just really tragic.  And one-quarter of women in professional services and revenue operations roles listed sexual harassment as one of their top three challenges

This is a big topic, and in part beyond the scope of this piece.  But let me provide at least 3 pieces of advice.

  • First, if you don’t already do this, immediately implement a zero-tolerance policy for any sort of harassment.  Don’t let the jokes, the sexist comments, slide.  Be thoughtful and very careful about team events, especially as we are all getting back into them.  It can seem easy to make an exception here or there to avoid confrontation. Don’t.
  • Second, make sure you have a thoughtful, vetted, open process to report concerns.  So many startups just don’t.
  • Third, and IMHE this is perhaps the most important of all, don’t let a gender imbalance fester.  I’m not an expert, but I do see far fewer issues in start-ups with close to a 50:50 gender balance. This doesn’t eliminate harassment or other issues, but it sure seems to reduce at least some of them.  It roots out the bro culture and other issues by design.   Even today, most sales teams are 80% male, and many early stage dev teams are about the same.  Sometimes, that’s where you end up for the first few hires.  It doesn’t make it OK, but if that’s you, take action as early as you can and address it.  There are 100+ benefits from doing so.

As founders, you have to be relentless in rooting out harassment.  If you don’t, at least in my experience, it can fester.  Even and perhaps especially if you don’t realize it or see it.

#3. 49% of their respondents considered quitting in 2021.  49%.  So now is the time to address issues.  Not later.

#4. Flexible work hours are very important, but work-from-home alone is not a total panacea.  It’s interesting that the #1 and #2 benefit SaaS women execs wanted was the option to work from home, and flexible work hours:

But only 36% said work-from-home was a positive for their career, and 32% for their personal life:

A vivid reminder to be extra vigilant as we return both to the office and a variety of hybrid work styles.  That just letting folks work from home some days, or even every day, isn’t a magic answer to improving work-life balance.  Go further.  Iterate on this new work, this new office, this new meta working environment.  Iterate it several times until you get it better, and make most of your team comfortable and happy.

#5.  Women in Revenue gives us a great checklist.  Go down this 6 point checklist with your team.  What can you improve today?  This month?  This quarter?  This year?

-> Maybe improve all 6 this year.   And some … right now:

Download the full report here!


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