Close this search box.
Blog » Annuities » Advice from 5 Female Founders – Win Workers Over With Benefits

Advice from 5 Female Founders – Win Workers Over With Benefits

Ping pong tables, on-site massages, and free haircuts might look great on paper, but let’s be honest: They’re gimmicks. Even if they manage to attract a candidate’s attention, they’re unlikely to be the reason he or she sticks around. How do you win workers over with benefits?

Benefits are supposed to be a key differentiator for employers. However, the reality is that most have been offering the same set — plus perhaps a gimmick or two — for decades. 401(k) plans since 1980​. Employer-provided health insurance is a​ ​relic of World War II​.

It’s past time for some fresh ideas in the benefits space. The following female founders are shaking it up and will Win Workers Over With their advice on Benefits:

Laurel Taylor​, founder, and CEO

Formerly a head of industry at Google, Laurel Taylor worked alongside dozens of engineers who worried they’d made the wrong career choice. While working their way toward a job at Google, many had taken on mountains of student debt. To fund her time at MIT, Taylor herself had accepted a loan at a 9 percent interest rate.

Soon after leaving Google in 2015, Taylor decided to do something about it: She founded with a mission to reduce student debt by​ ​$30 billion by 2021​. How does hope to achieve that? Through private-sector partnerships. By offering student debt repayment as an employee benefit, Taylor is giving employers a key tool for attracting and retaining Millennial talent. Eighty-six percent of employees say they’d work for a company for five years or more if it helped to pay down their student loans,​ ​points out​.

Gillian​ O’Brien and​ ​Emily O’Brien​, Cherry co-founders

With Emily’s background in design and engineering and Gillian’s in digital marketing, the two sisters decided to join their skills to create Cherry. Developed with the help of Y Combinator, Cherry’s mission is to give workers choices around their benefits.

How does Cherry work? Using a Cherry chatbot in Slack, employees can personalize the lifestyle benefits their company provides. Instead of an annual gym pass, for instance, someone using Cherry might choose to spend their benefits on an Amazon Prime subscription or Postmates delivery credits. And because Cherry gives companies a sense of the perks employees want, it prevents benefits dollars from going to waste on ones they don’t. Brittany Stich​ and​ ​Rachel Carlson, Guild Education co-founders

Like’s Taylor, Brittany Stich and Rachel Carlson wanted to make college more accessible. Unlike Taylor, Stich and Carlson entered the employee benefits space not from tech, but from education. Between her time at Aspire Public Schools and Teach for America, Stich spent three years as a Bay Area teacher. Carlson, meanwhile, founded edtech startup Student Blueprint and worked in admissions at Stanford University before her and Stich teamed up on Guild Education.

Guild Education partners with companies like Taco Bell to provide financial aid coaching, degree program discounts, and college credit for on-the-job training. Although those might sound like expensive perks,​ ​Guild Education claims​ that its benefits deliver an average of 208 percent ROI while raising 90-day retention to 98 percent, compared to a 71 percent baseline retention rate.

Katherine Ryder​, Maven founder and CEO

Having worked for the The New Yorker and The Economist before becoming an entrepreneur, Katherine Ryder understands why many women feel forced to choose between motherhood and their career. Although Ryder made Maven available to individuals as well as employers, it’s Maven’s employer-sponsored fertility benefits that are big news in the HR space.

Despite Maven being five years old, it’s developed a vast network of women’s and family healthcare practitioners. Enrollees get unlimited video appointments and messaging with​ ​more than 1,200 practitioners across at least 18 specialties. To help working women plan their path to parenthood, Maven’s practitioners provide many services. These include: fertility treatments, egg freezing, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, adoption services, and more.

Georgene Huang​ and​ ​Romy Newman​, Fairygodboss co-founders

Fairygodboss is more responsible than any company on this list for advancing women’s workplace benefits. Through anonymous reviews, Fairygodboss rates companies on how they treat their women employees. Intentionally or not, the company pressures employers to invest in robust maternity policies, gender pay equality, and female-friendly cultures.
Where did the idea for Fairygodboss come from? Huang​ ​came up with it​ after she was suddenly fired by Dow Jones, where she worked as a senior executive. Two months pregnant, Huang made maternity leave a priority during her job hunt. Fairygodboss didn’t exist yet. So, her only option was to have uncomfortable conversations about maternity leave and the number of senior-level women employees. Huang then teamed up with Romy Newman, formerly a sales and marketing manager at Google, to get Fairygodboss going.

The benefits space may be full of half-baked ideas, but not by the women on this list. By opening the door to parenthood or post-secondary education, they’re giving workers new reasons to commit. And by pushing companies to treat women well, they’re ensuring employers hold up their end of the bargain, too.

These are just a few ways to win workers over with benefits. Implementing them will help you boost your bottom line.


Peter Daisyme

Co-Founder at Hostt
Peter Daisyme is the co-founder of Palo Alto, California-based Hostt, specializing in helping businesses with hosting their website for free, for life. Previously he was the co-founder of Pixloo, a company that helped people sell their homes online, that was acquired in 2012.

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.


Top Trending Posts

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More