The MOVE methodology has been used since 1998, when Joanne Cleaver developed it to support Working Woman magazine’s first “Top 25 Companies for Executive Women” list.

MOVE translates the business case for advancing women to business results. 

MOVE measures both demographic data and workplace culture to understand what works now, in today’s economy, to advance women. Our research supports:

  • Advocacy for women in MOVE industries and for all working women.
  • In-depth reports, released directly and through publishing partners.
  • Webinars, presentations and other community events where women and employers can share insights.
  • Confidential scorecards to participating employers that challenge them to do more of what already works to advance women, and to address practices and culture that hold women back.
  • Content strategy that builds employer brand.
  • For some MOVE industries, “Best Place to Work for Women” lists, in collaboration with association partners.

What data does the MOVE survey collect?

Quantitative Data based on Employer Demographics:

  • How many women and women of color are employed at your workplace?
  • How many women and women of color hold key positions, from entry level to partners? This includes operating positions that provide experience essential for promotion to the C level.
  • Where appropriate, how women are represented in technology (IT, STEM, digital media, etc.).

 Qualitative Data based on the MOVE factors:

M Money: Pay equity programs, analysis and measurement. MOVE is not a salary survey, but does examine how employers hold managers accountable for pay equity, and how employers address equity gaps.

O Opportunity: Leadership, management and technical training and development, especially operating positions that involve profit and loss responsibility – key for rising to top leadership.

V Vital supports for work-life: Flexible work practices are only effective when they drive business results. MOVE examines not just the existence of programs such as  telecommuting, wellness and dependent care benefits, but also, how they directly support productivity and business results.

E Entrepreneurship: Hands-on business development  and supplier diversity demonstrate a company’s investment in the business-building skills of its women employees and women-owned businesses.

How are these factors weighted when scoring candidates for a MOVE Project Best Employers list?  To win, an employer must have BOTH a proportionate number of women at most or all levels of management AND proven success with the MOVE factors. An employer cannot win by having a rich array of programs but few women in leadership.

We believe that if an employer’s MOVE factors are effective, it will have a healthy and growing proportion of women in its leadership pipeline.

Do you score only on the submitted, self-reported MOVE survey?  We interview every employer, basing our questions on the survey and recent news and industry trends. This is the only way to understand workplace culture and the effectiveness of that employer’s MOVE factors. We also examine the corporate website, documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission and other sources for publicly held companies. The interview helps us to find context for the report, and produce relevant company snapshots and scorecards.

How do you score the number of women in management?  To score the status of women in management, a parity scale is established for each company. The parity scale is based on the overall percentage of women employees at the company. Each level of management is compared to the overall percentage of women at the company. For instance, if 40% of a company’s employees are women, a score of 100 on the parity scale for women in management is 40%. A company with 60% women employees must have 60% women in management for a score of 100. This means that women are equally represented in management as they are in the company overall.

This also means that each company is judged on its own proportion of women employees and how well it draws them into leadership. A company with a high proportion of women employees does not have an inherent advantage in scoring the status of women.

How much does it cost to participate in the MOVE Project?  The full cost of the research is often covered by corporate sponsors or by a foundation affiliated with an association.  Administrative fees are sometimes charged to each participating organization, based on the initial agreement with the MOVE Project sponsors for an industry. Typically, a MOVE Project is launched in affiliation with a professional association that represents women in an industry.

Participating employers receive an in-depth, confidential scorecard that benchmarks the status of women at their organization to others in the industry. Scorecards also include custom recommendations for accelerating practices that work and for addressing issues that prevent women from fully engaging in business growth. Companies routinely tell us that the confidential feedback they receive shapes priorities and budget for their women’s initiatives and talent development.

Can an employer get even more feedback?  For an additional fee, Wilson-Taylor Associates can produce a ‘super scorecard’ that draws in additional interviews, analysis and resources, including samples of best practices proven at other employers. For more information, please contact Wilson-Taylor president Joanne Cleaver,

May I see a sample of the benchmarking snapshot for participating employers? Of course! Contact Wilson-Taylor at or call us at 980.224.8781.

How .does the MOVE Project create a level playing field for smaller and larger employers to compete for recognition as a Best Employer for Women? The MOVE Project scoring for the MOVE Best Lists includes a time-tested combination of both quantitative measures of actual career success, and qualitative measures of programs and best practices. Our experience in other industries leads us to focus on incremental changes that demonstrate programs are actually working to advance women’s careers, and to reward firms who articulate and implement a business case for diversity that is strategically aligned with bottom-line profitability. Our proprietary process and scoring have been carefully reviewed and adjusted to maintain consistency among our analysts and soundness of interpretation.

Do you release a list of employers that participate but don’t win? No. We only release the names of employers whose practices and pipelines propel them to the top. Our mission is to equip women for lifeline economic independence and career success. That is accomplished one workplace at a time, by collaborating with leaders to evolve workplace culture and practices. We find that behind-the-scenes collaboration can catalyze deep, long lasting change…and often, the results of that change earn an employer a spot on a ‘Best’ list.

Why is there an interview after the survey data is submitted?  The interview will focus on the “why” behind the demographics and MOVE factors you reported on the survey. Our goal is to thoroughly understand all the factors that shape your firm’s efforts and results in advancing women. The interview is ALSO completely confidential, and any information that we learn about your firm will not be released without your express permission. The interview helps us to put context around best practices and industry trends, and tell the story of successful women in the industry.

Will the information gathered through the survey and interview remain confidential?  Yes! We do not release the names of participating employers publicly, nor any data from individual employers. Data submitted by all participants will be averaged, and then presented as a whole in the executive report. The confidential snapshot for each employer, showing its individual data as compared to the overall data about the pipeline, is released only to the employer. Wilson Taylor Associates provides a participation agreement to each participating organization, outlining our promise to keep your data secure, and to protect your organization’s confidential information.

Those employers whose pipeline and practices merit a place on the Best Employers list will be contacted prior to the release of that information so that we may confirm, clarify or correct quotes and facts attributed to your company.

How does Wilson Taylor Associates report best practices in the executive report, and still keep participants confidential?  If your employer’s practices and pipelines merit mention in the executive report, we will fact check these references with your media relations department for accuracy before going to print. If your organization decides that it does not wish to be identified in the report, your organization’s name will not be published.

Our philosophy is to “celebrate in public, coach in private.”  We believe this is the best way to achieve our mission of equipping women for lifeline economic independence and career success.

Could I see examples of your work for other clients?

These projects have been managed by Wilson-Taylor Associates and are based on the MOVE methodology.

 How do clients put MOVE and communication insights into action?

Our professional development workshops do just that. Read all about it in this handy summary: Wilson-Taylor Professional Development Workshops