Companies With the Best Perks for Women: Salt Lake City, UT

The Best Companies for Women in Salt Lake City, Utah
by Jian Sun
September 29, 2015

No, Salt Lake City isn't only home to the Mormon church. You'll also find employers who value the work-life balance, gorgeous slopes, and a bustling nightlife. Oh, and the city views aren't too shabby either.

Most people see Utah’s capital city as a mecca for those who worship powdery slopes, the great outdoors, or the Mormon Church.

They’re not wrong.

The mountain ranges surrounding Salt Lake City provide amazing panoramic views and the perfect conditions for dry, powdery snow. Park City, home to the Sundance Film Festival and a central ski destination, is less than an hour away along with other resorts of equal renown from Alta to Snowbird. To the West, the Great Salt Lake, known as “America’s Dead Sea” is a habitat for water-sport lovers, birds and wildlife alike, while the Bonneville Salt Flats is a dramatic setting for motorcar racing, movie sets and photo ops. Then there’s the quick 5-hour trip to Southern Utah and Red Rock country.

AT THE CROSSROADS

Like many American cities, SLC was founded by those fleeing religious persecution. The city is organized on a grid that starts at the heart of downtown: Temple Square. The LDS Temple in Salt Lake City was the city’s first planned structure and took 40 years to construct. But while the presence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is strong in culture and politics, Mormons currently make up less than 50% of the city’s residents.

Diversity is an increasing trend. There is a sizable and growing Hispanic and Latino population, along with pockets of Bosnian, Samoan and Sri Lankan communities. A burgeoning food and drink scene means that nights out now include artisanal beetroot cocktails and tapas places. SLC also has a thriving LGBT presence with three openly-gay city officials and the “gayborhood” (officially the Marmalade District) just outside city center.

MODERN SLC

With just over a million people, the city is bike-friendly and public transit friendly, with a  light rail system that connects neighborhoods of SLC to nearby Provo and Ogden.

The greater Salt Lake City area is ideal for new grads and millennials thanks to a vibrant economy, one of the lowest unemployment rates, and one of the highest in job creation (along with Austin, TX). {Click to Tweet} Thanks to affordable housing, good transportation, and corporate tax breaks, a large number of tech graduates working in the city and a recent influx of tech companies have led some to refer to a Silicon Valley effect (Silicon Desert?).

Tourism is a large industry, but so are business and professional services, technology, transportation, healthcare and education. Adobe, American Express, Ebay, FranklinCovey, Goldman Sachs and Overstock are just some of the big names in town.

The greater Salt Lake City area is ideal for new grads and millennials thanks to a vibrant economy, one of the lowest unemployment rates, and one of the highest in job creation. 

TOP COMPANIES IN SALT LAKE CITY

While the economic boom in Salt Lake City is good for both sexes, millennials and families, here are the top 5 companies with the best perks for women:

1-800 CONTACTS

The world’s largest online contact lens retailer has a brand new 125,000 square-foot headquarters in the southern suburb of Draper (about 20 minutes outside Salt Lake proper). The new facility has an onsite gym with personal trainers, a volleyball court, group glasses, locker rooms and showers. A free vision clinic ensures your sight is on point with huge discounts on contacts (obvs.). Delicious, healthy meals are served at the heavily subsidized restaurant saving time and money, while massage therapists keep you balanced.  

If those onsite benefits don’t sway you, employees talk a lot about a good work-life balance and fun company events, volunteer opportunities and free tickets to Sundance. Getting a 4.2 out of 5 rating with 93% approval for their CEO on Glassdoor and the Alfred P. Sloan award for exemplary workplace practices 7 years in a row, 1-800 CONTACTS shows companies that treating workers right pays off.

1-800 CONTACTS Employee on Glassdoor: Free gym, cereal, snacks & soda. Low cost delicious, chef prepared meals. Great benefits including free eye insurance and half off contact lenses. Living wages, friendly management & flexible hours are just a few of the reasons working here is awesome.

Photo: Glassdoor

CLEARLINK

The digital advertising and marketing agency, Clearlink knows what draws young, ambitious talent: regular employee appreciation days, top performer parties in Las Vegas and Mexico, private digital marketing conferences, passes to sports and ski venues, gym and health benefits and of course, delicious pastries in the break room.

Those perks, along with the office’s modern open layout with 3D artwork, might just make up for the location near the airport (though that makes trips convenient!). Most of Clearlink’s top execs are male, but their VP of Talent Acquisition was recently honored by Utah Business for being one of the 30 Women to Watch.

This sounds like your usual tech-startup-advertising company, but reviews on glassdoor use words like “work-life balance” and “family culture.” With a 4.1 out of 5 rating with 96% CEO approval, it seems this SLC company has adapted office culture to suit its community.

Clearlink Employee on Glassdoor: The company culture and people are great and the company's treatment of employees is trusting and generous. I love that they stock community snacks, offer flexible hours, have comfortable work environment and help employees stay healthy and active.

Photo: Glassdoor

HEALTH CATALYST

Named one of the best places to work by Modern Healthcare, this technology company hopes to improve healthcare outcomes using data and analytics, while providing employees a good work environment. Transparency from upper management, enforced work-life balance, great benefits and compensation are mentioned frequently on Glassdoor, where Health Catalyst gets a 4.8 out of 5 rating and 100% CEO approval.

Located in the Eastern tech suburb of Holladay-Cottonwood Heights, the corporate headquarters is a mere 20 minutes away from the ski slopes. Fancy perks include unlimited PTO, stock options, standup desks, onsite gym and free snacks and drinks. It might be the first time I’ve read a review complaining about gaining weight from all the free junk food in the break room (even though there are healthy alternatives). #realstruggles

Health Catalyst employee on Glassdoor: The company has a great mission. It really values its employees. The culture is amazing. They take care of you. I've never seen better benefits. Compensation is above average. Senior management is smart and trustworthy. Our concerns are heard and acted upon. 

BAMBOOHR

Located 30 minutes South towards Provo, BambooHR offers human resource management software solutions for small to medium businesses. Being a small operation themselves, they believe in having manageable work schedules, flexible hours and zero office politics. Top level execs knows everyone’s name and have regular planning meetings with the entire company. Their culture is award-winning and advertised plainly on their career page as: Do great work. Then go home.

Not worrying about finances also leads to stress-free happy workers, so they pay for employees to take a financial planning class. To ensure you actually do something fun on our time off, BambooHR offers a generous amount of PTO with a $2000 vacation reimbursement. Fun activities, team building, maternity and paternity leave - the list of benefits is growing and with a perfect 5 rating and 100% CEO approval on Glassdoor, they’re definitely moving in the right direction.

BambooHR employee on Glassdoor: Competitive compensation, emphasis on work-life balance and a very selective hiring process make BambooHR an excellent company to work for. BambooHR is in that sweet spot of being as agile and lean as a new start-up with all the stability of a long established company.

PLURALSIGHT

We know, right?

Online education company, Pluralsight, provides online courses in software development and IT. They could also teach some courses in company culture and employee satisfaction. Located 20 minutes North in Farmington, their brand new, built-from-scratch office contains a lounge with games, ping-pong table, a fully stocked kitchen and modern workspaces set in an open layout with natural light, wood and glass elements throughout. The train conveniently delivers employees to the front door from SLC, the Airport, Provo and everything in between.

The perks are there; unlimited PTO, free lunches, gym reimbursement, events and swag; but employees tend to rave more about the mission of the company, transparency, culture and level of respect and communication they have with their colleagues. The trust is so deep, Pluralsight doesn’t even cap travel or business expenses - they expect you to know what’s best for you and the company. That might be worth more than a free bag of chips.

Pluralsight employee on Glassdoor: Unlimited PTO and a repeated emphasis from leadership that they truly believe happier employees make more productive employees has allowed me to achieve life balance. I truly enjoy coming into work and tackling the challenges of the day knowing that my effort and ingenuity can affect the growth of our organization. I no longer feel like a cog in the wheel or a number on a spreadsheet.

Photo: Glassdoor 

Salt Lake City's work environment offers economic prosperity, affordable housing, and a real chance at balancing work life with personal life. 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

There’s a huge list of great companies in Salt Lake City. These 5 companies just missed our top 5 cut, but have some great perks for just about anyone.

ANCESTRY.COM: Headquartered in Provo, the office is set in front of the beautiful Wasatch mountain range and offers fresh, local food, games and fun work events. 

Bonus: Has an amazing second location in San Francisco.

INSTRUCTURE: This tech company is properly situated in Cottonwoods Heights and includes perks like razor scooters, fully-stocked kitchen, fun artwork and games.

Bonus: Hosts and supports “Girl Develop It” nights for women developers.

VIVINT: One of the largest home security service providers, Vivint offers free food, a plethora of benefits and a good commission structure and tech for employees.

Bonus: Free medical clinic for all workers on site at Provo HQ.

LUCID SOFTWARE: Located in a brand new office in South Jordan, this graphical, collaborative software business won Startup of the Year and all the Glassdoor votes.

Bonus: Company retreats include white water rafting, hiking and the outdoors

DIVERSIFIED INSURANCE GROUP: Small financial and insurance company has about 50 employees that enjoy great benefits, bonuses and work flexibility.

Bonus: Location, location, location - only company on list in downtown SLC.

Photo: Glassdoor

FINAL CALL

While the historical foundations of the area will always be steeped in the Mormon religion and strong family values, the introduction of new cultures, demographics, global companies and interests will undoubtedly bring progress - for better or worse. For now, the results are economic prosperity, affordable housing, and a real chance at balancing work life with personal life. That’s something we can all appreciate.  

* * *

What great city should we visit next in our series? Let us know in the comments.

 Photo: Adam Barker, Courtesy Salt Lake Travel and Tourism.