Two women chat comfortably in the office sporting Become’s signature
The study analysed the Glassdoor ratings of 40 fastest growing companies in the UK. Photo: Become

A new study by finance advice platform Stephen Eve Financial Planning found that more than four million British employees are happier in companies with female founders.

The study, which examined the Glassdoor ratings of the UK's 40 fastest-growing companies, found that 13% of the UK workforce, equivalent to 4.1 million people, reported a better work-life balance in female-led businesses.

The findings not only analysed Glassdoor ratings that referenced a work-life balance, but the study also considered diversity and inclusion, career progression and workplace culture. Of the 40 fastest-growing companies in the UK, 20 were founded by men and women founded 20; each received an overall satisfaction score out of five.

The research indicates that businesses founded by women foster a more robust workplace culture, facilitate faster career progression, and promote a better work-life balance.

The data revealed that 18 per cent of working Britons said that there was a significantly more positive workplace culture at female-led companies, 15 per cent said that female founders offer a more inclusive and diverse workplace, 14 per cent of UK employees said that they had were given better compensation and benefits while working for women. Another 14 per cent said that female-founded businesses offer faster career progression.

According to 13% of the British workforce, female-led companies also foster a more robust work-life balance.

Female-founded companies scored higher on diversity and inclusion than male-led businesses, with a happiness score of 4.2 against 3.6.

When comparing the culture and values of female and male-founded businesses, women received an overall score of 4.2 against 3.5. Staff members employed at companies founded by women are also more likely to experience faster career progression, with the Glassdoor satisfaction rating exposing a female score of 3.9 against 3.4.

Moreover, Stephen Eve's Financial Planning research also named the happiest female-founded companies in the UK.

Market research company TruRating came first, with the highest score of 4.6. Mobile application OLIO was given an overall score of 4.5, followed by fintech company Lendable with a score of 4.3 and maternity technology company Elvie with a score of 4.

10 Female-Founded Companies To Watch In 2024

  1. TyRating was founded by Georgia Nelson and awarded a happiness score of 4.6 on Glassdoor.
  2. Synthesia is a software developer founded by Lourdes Agapito. Synthesia also has an overall score of 4.6.
  3. Social enterprise OLIO, founded by Tessa Clarke, was named in the study as the company with the most diverse and inclusive workspace.
  4. Created by Paula Quazi, Smol is a consumer goods network with a staggering work culture and values score of five out of five.
  5. Lendable is a FinTech business that Victoria Van Lennep founded. Lendable also boasts a high work culture and values score on Glassdoor, measuring 4.5.
  6. Cybersecurity business Panaseer, founded by Sophie Harrison, was awarded an overall happiness score of 4.3.
  7. Food wholesaler REKKI, founded by Orat Benyamini, is also home to a diverse and inclusive workforce – given an overall score of 4.4.
  8. Maternity technology giant Elvie was founded by Tanie Boler. The femtech business, given an overall happiness score of 4, went viral after it launched its wearable breast pump for new mothers.
  9. Firmdale Hotels is also one to watch. It was founded by Kit Kemp and awarded a staff satisfaction score of 4.
  10. Although Biotech firm DnaNudge received the lowest score, 3.5 out of five, for its work-life balance and career opportunities, the firm, founded by Maria Karvela, was awarded a score of 4.7 for its diversity and inclusion.

Danielle Slater, the Co-Director and Marketing Manager at Stephen Eve Financial Planning, responded to the findings: "Data revealing a happiness advantage for employees in female-founded companies is a powerful finding. It highlights the potential impact of female leadership on fostering positive work environments that prioritise employee well-being, career development, and a healthy work-life balance."

"Success across diverse industries, from established players like TruRating to newer ventures like OLIO, is particularly interesting. This suggests a broader trend: female leadership driving success with a focus on employee happiness," Slater said. "The inclusion of the fintech company, Lendable, further emphasises the growing influence of women in these sectors, which is encouraging given the need to improve diversity, equality & inclusion in the financial services industry."

To champion gender equality, Stephen Eve Financial Planning has significantly increased its efforts to boost the opportunities for women working in the financial sector. The financial advice platform has also pledged to raise awareness and gain more profound knowledge of the female-founded businesses serving the specific financial needs of high-net-worth women, emphasizing the importance of gender equality in the financial sector.