Forbes feature: Why Oracle is one of America’s best employers for women

August 10, 2023 | 7 minute read
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Forbes 2023 Best Employers for Women
Oracle named to Forbes
2023 Best Employers for Women

We’ve entered Forbes’ America’s Best Employers for Women list for the second year in a row. It’s a big moment and the culmination of years of work. Our people have striven to put women’s careers first, champion mentoring, support working mothers, and so much more.

The findings were based on a Statista survey of 60,000 Americans (40,000 women, 20,000 men) working at companies with at least 1,000 employees. Participants were asked to share their thoughts on factors like diversity, working conditions, and willingness to recommend to others. All answers were reviewed for gender disparities.

Those who took part were asked to rate employers on equality, parental benefits, pay, and more. The final ranking of 400 companies also factors nominations of companies in other industries by respondents. Every employer listed, including Oracle, featured gender-balanced boards and executive suites, and received an exceptional number of recommendations from participants.

Building the foundations

There’s no magic fix to nurturing an environment where women can be professionally successful. Attitudes change slowly without a vision, and businesses must work tirelessly to build and maintain fairer workplaces. 

Oracle’s success in making a better working environment hasn’t happened in a vacuum—it’s the result of long-term intersectional thinking. We’ve spent decades building a workplace where everyone is valued and empowered to contribute in ways that work best for them. This can be as simple as using Textio to remove hidden bias from job descriptions or as specific as specialized interview training for recruiters.

It’s how we’ve broken down barriers, been named one of America’s best employers for diversity and received a perfect 100 score in the Disability Equality Index. Efforts like this add up and show that there’s no such thing as a single equality issue—they’re all connected, and tackling one pays off in all the others.

Oracle Global Diversity Recruiting Programs Lead, Melissa Nicholas points to community-building as a major part of this. Partnerships with Ada Developers Academy, Grace Hopper Celebration, the Society of Women Engineers, iRelaunch, Women in Cybersecurity, Sistas in Sales and myGwork continue to boost representation for women of all backgrounds and parts of society. 

Mary Ellen Kassotakis
Mary Ellen Kassotakis
OWL Executive Director

Pipeline to success

The Oracle Women’s Leadership group (OWL) has fueled this by connecting women with women through mentoring, and by offering leadership development opportunities in over 100 communities globally. This runs from local networking, professional learning, and personal development all the way up to leadership summits. In the 2023 fiscal year alone, that’s meant almost 300 events with more than 20,000 attendees.
It’s a stunning amount of outreach, and it’s clear that it’s having a hugely positive effect on women’s careers at Oracle. It’s all part of OWL’s wider mission to develop, engage and empower current and future generations of women. This is all laid out in the group’s three main aspirations:

  • Enhance employees’ leadership and professional development skills.
  • Strengthen employees’ professional networks and improve organizational awareness.
  • Foster an inclusive workplace that empowers women leaders.

OWL’s executive director, Mary Ellen Kassotakis sees their role as establishing a ladder that can take women all the way from their first professional role to the boardroom. 

“Women remain significantly underrepresented in the corporate pipeline. Ensuring that women are working and leading in technology is not just a matter of fairness and ethics, it's imperative for good business.”

Seeing it, being it

We’ve always invested in women in technical roles, but in 2021 and 2022 the Oracle Women’s Leadership group doubled down on retaining and advancing women in the industry with our Women in Tech Series (WiTS).

WiTS takes more than 1,000 nominated women from all backgrounds and puts them on track to more senior engineering and leadership roles. More women in more prominent positions means more women are inspired to follow their example. Like the saying goes: ‘If you can see it, you can be it.’ 

Oracle’s Emerging Leader Summit is a flagship program for building up women talent to be the leaders of tomorrow. Here, hundreds of women gather each year to build the skills and connections to supercharge their careers. 

In 2023, OWL launched the 'Your authentic leadership journey' series to offer women at Oracle the opportunity to think about their personalized career journey with insights from inspiring Oracle women leaders. 

Mary Ellen sees all this as vital to OWL’s ethos of paying it forward and women’s voices being heard in tech and beyond.

“Women mentoring women helps them gain access to opportunities and can help to cultivate confidence—especially in male-dominated business environments.”

Melissa Nicholas
Melissa Nicholas
Global Diversity Recruiting Lead

Relaunching careers

We’ve also taken steps to welcome women back to the world of work after taking time out. People take career breaks for many reasons, but a disproportionate amount are women who voluntarily leave the workplace to care for children or elderly relatives.  

Our Oracle Career Relaunch program values the experience people returning to the workforce bring and understands their unique challenges. Established professionals reconnect with the world of work in paid, full-time roles with structured onboarding and strong peer support.

Program Manager, Loralee Hamilton returned to work after 14 years and hit the ground running with a great team and exceptional benefits. “The program was a welcome safety net in my first months at Oracle,” she told us in July.

From a recruitment perspective, Melissa sees programs like this as a major differentiator for women in tech.

“Career Relaunch provides a soft landing to come back to the workforce by including cohorts with mentors, community connects, office hours and speaker sessions.” 

Maternity matters

All parents face the challenge of juggling family and professional life, but it’s especially intense for new parents. Strong maternity benefits and flexible working helps, but caring duties don’t stop just because it’s time to work, especially in a space shared with family.

Mary Ellen sums this up as a symptom of slowly changing attitudes in wider society.

“The role of women in society has changed dramatically in the past 50 to 60 years. Society, and even many working women, still demand that we must be the best daughters, friends, partners, mothers, caregivers, and professionals. This presents unique challenges for women who want to advance professionally in the same way that men can.”

In response, we’ve levelled the playing field with extra benefits that let women manage those expectations on their own terms. Flexible working hours empower women to be where they need to be, maternity and paternity leave promote shared childcare, and paid volunteer hours can be used for school volunteering.

Traci Wade
Traci Wade,
GVP of Diversity & Inclusion

Making work work

Our benefits take a 360-degree approach that supports women across fertility, adoption, and surrogacy through to paid parental leave, caregiver leave, discounted childcare, and support for children and families with special requirements (including behavioral and developmental), while employee resource groups (ERGs) foster further connections and support. . 

For example, the Oracle Diverse Abilities Network (ODAN) provided Rachel Blake with a valuable support network during the time of her son’s autism diagnosis, which she’s paying forward as the co-lead of a new group for Oracle parents and caregivers of people with disabilities.

Military spouses meanwhile are well represented as part of Oracle's Military Affiliated Veteran Employee Network (MAVEN). Amy Carrio, one of our business development managers and a military spouse herself, was able to find extensive support from the get-go among a community that understood exactly the type of demands she faced. 

Global Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Traci Wade emphasizes it’s not just about covering all the bases, it’s about evolution.

“We believe you need a 360-degree approach to really break down structured barriers. From breaking gender bias and investing in programs that accelerate women’s careers to nurturing trust and inclusion within teams, this is how we evolve.”

It’s making a huge difference to new mothers like Anne Nerise Laderas, Senior Consultant at Oracle Energy and Water. 

“I joined Oracle during the start of the pandemic, and I’ve been working remotely until now. From my experience there is work and life balance here. Being able to contribute to the success of the projects… while also still having time for life outside work,” she shares. 

“I recently gave birth to a baby girl. And as a working mom, I still have time for my baby.”

Tech doesn’t stand still and neither do our needs. As the world evolves, Oracle will continue to lead the way with the initiatives that empower women in the workplace and make our industry a fairer, more positive place to work. 

Do you want to join a company that makes sure women are heard, empowered and ready to take the lead? Check out our latest roles now and discover why we’re a Forbes top employer for women.

Oracle Careers Editorial Team

The editorial team is comprised of members of the Oracle Talent Advisory group, with a wide-range of employer branding responsibilities. They partner with employees across Oracle to capture stories that showcase our company, culture and career opportunities, and help candidates envision their #LifeAtOracle.

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