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Southwest Airlines Named Great Workplace for Women

The Dallas-based airline was recognized by Newsweek.

By Amy Durham

A senior woman poses in front of a blue wall with the logo for Colleen C Barrett Institute for Cultural Excellence and Customer Service that is a gold circle around a red heart
Colleen C. Barrett, President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines CREDIT Colleen Barrett, Southwest Airlines Co.

Southwest Airlines Co. has been named one of Newsweek’s America’s Greatest Workplaces for Women 2023. The airline, headquartered in Dallas, has been recognized for providing a strong and inspiring workplace environment for women.

In 2022, 44% of Southwest’s workforce was made up of women. “We’re committed to providing a supportive environment where women at Southwest can thrive,” Southwest’s Senior Vice President of People, Learning, and Development, Elizabeth Bryant says in a prepared statement. “As a Company dedicated to its People, we’re proud to advocate for all Employees.” Known for its employee-first corporate culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. Colleen Barrett, Southwest’s President Emeritus, was the first woman president in the U.S. airline industry and built a culture at Southwest that treats every employee like family.

To determine the top 600 companies for the America’s Greatest Workplaces for Women 2023 list, Newsweek partnered with Plant-A Insights Group to conduct a large-scale employer study. The study involved collecting a sample set of 37,000 women working for companies across 34 industries and over 224,000 company reviews. The categories for selection included work-life balance, sustainability and awareness, compensation and benefits, and corporate culture, among others.

A Southwest Airlines airplane that is blue with red and yellow stripes along the tail takes off from an aiprort with a blue sky and traffic control tower in the background
CREDIT Southwest Airlines Co

Southwest not only strives to be a top place to work for women but also inspires the next generation of aviation professionals. The airline partnered with Women in Aviation International (WAI) to support Girls in Aviation Day events in September 2022. Additionally, Southwest sponsors women-focused nonprofit organizations across the country that focus on important matters such as women’s equality, education, leadership and career development, entrepreneurship, public leadership, and creating equitable workplace environments. Through these investments, Southwest aims to make lasting, positive impacts that benefit women and the communities where its employees and customers live and work.

Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world’s most awarded airlines, offering flights at 121 airports across 11 countries. The airline started service in 1971 with the goal of democratizing the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. Southwest now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline.