The elements of outstanding work environments—more specifically, outstanding work environments for women—aren’t elusive. Great communication is always a key ingredient, as is a culture of respect, flexibility, and adaptability. Nonetheless, the perfect combination of all these elements is hard to come by—unless you happen upon the annual list of 100 Best Workplaces for Women, compiled by Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine. And for the second year in a row, you’ll find national home loan provider PrimeLending on that list.
“What makes a workplace great for women is when you have a culture that really fosters relationships,” executive vice president, general counsel Cindy Buhr says. “Mentoring, leadership training, open communication—it’s all part of it. If we understand each other’s needs and what’s going on, it makes us all more adaptable to meet those needs.”
The Fortune list uses criteria that includes employees’ individual assessment of their work environments, satisfaction among both women and men with their growth opportunities, and an overall strong representation of women in the workplace. PrimeLending is especially pleased to be included because of how well the list reflects the company’s core convictions. “There’s the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And when you expand it out to the core building blocks of your culture, those core values are our golden rule,” Buhr explains. “We’re trying to develop programs and to develop people that give insight into what those core values mean.”
And a more equal male-to-female ratio brings not just a stronger sense of equality but a wider range of opinions, mind-sets, voices, and, ultimately, approaches to the work at hand.
“I think having that dynamic diversity of backgrounds and life experiences brings a different level of insight into any decisions you’re having to make,” Buhr says.