Empower women. Eliminate poverty.


What It Means to be a Great Place to Work®

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Big news! Great Place to Work® has named Friendship Bridge one of The Best Places to Work™ for Women in Central America and the Caribbean in 2021. The award recognizes organizations whose female employees report that their workplace creates trust and supports their ability to reach their full human potential, no matter who they are or what they do. Friendship Bridge ranked second among 25 other multinational organizations that participated, including Belcorp Centroamérica and Novo Nordisk CLAT (Caribbean & Central America.)

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“This is an exceptional honor for us. The employee surveys prove that our impact extends beyond the reach of our client base. The women on our team are also telling us they feel supported and empowered. Even during this pandemic, we’re creating a culture of trust by providing secure jobs, a good income, and important benefits to our female staff.”

– Karen Larson, Friendship Bridge President & CEO

Altogether, Friendship Bridge has received the following rankings this year:

We are so incredibly honored to have received these awards and accolades. The recognition strengthens our ongoing commitment to creating opportunities that empower Guatemalan women to build a better life.

But what does it really mean to be a Great Place to Work®? In this post, we’ll elaborate on a few of these workplace honors.

Definition of a Great Place to Work®

It’s no surprise that when the employees of an organization are happy, those whom they serve are happy too. Numerous studies have demonstrated this very link: happy and engaged employees better serve their clients, which leads to greater client satisfaction and loyalty. At Friendship Bridge, our employees have attested to identifying with Friendship Bridge’s vision and mission, and we know that, thanks to this mission-driven spirit, we are able to achieve the social impact we seek.

Let’s take a deeper look at The Best Place to Work for Women™ in Central America and the Caribbean recognition. This award recognizes organizations based on two characteristics:

  • Their female employees report that the workplace creates trust and supports their ability to reach their full human potential, no matter who they are or what they do.
  • They have practices that are fully committed to the development of women and enable women to enhance and strengthen their skills and abilities.

To establish these rankings, the Great Place to Work® institute analyzed confidential survey feedback from Friendship Bridge staff that took into consideration female employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders. The extent to which women are represented in the workforce and throughout management (taking into account industry trends) also factors into the rankings. To be considered, companies need to:

  • Employ at least 50 women
  • Have at least 20% of their non-executive managers be female
  • Have at least one female executive


• Empowerment • Respect • Solidarity

• Participation • Quality • Integrity • Transparency

Friendship Bridge exceeds these minimum requirements across the 14 locations where operate throughout Guatemala. In fact, 96 of our 177 employees are women. Still, we know that gender equality goes beyond quotas. Aside from a sense of engagement with one’s work, and a feeling of support, trust, and respect – the culture itself should foster these sentiments. And at Friendship Bridge, this culture is driven by our core values. We know that unless we integrate these values into our work and create an environment where employees can benefit from these values, the aforementioned awards would not have been possible.

After all, what does a “great workplace” encompass? It is a place where employees feel empowered, they feel respected, they feel a sense of solidarity, they feel engaged to participate, they feel recognized, they receive appreciation for the high quality of their work and for their work ethic, they are treated with integrity, and they experience transparency in the workplace.