We wanted to empower women to use and elevate their voices. We brainstormed how we might empower women within their existing routines and lives, and realized that because women are the primary buyer for most households, using their buying power as consumers to express themselves is a powerful, influential way of elevating women.
What it does
We built a system that takes in a variety of factors about a public company: currently, it takes in the number of women on the board and in C-level positions and whether the CEO is male or female, and creates a score based on how close the company is to gender equality (a 50-50 split). In the future, we want to factor things like: media presence surrounding women, company culture, maternity leave, charitable activity, sexual harassment claims at the company, ratio of female workers to male workers, ratio of women in male-dominated areas like tech, feedback from women at the culture, and diversity in other areas, like sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.
The website shows the company's score, the factors that were available to calculate it, and the company's history with the scores, to acknowledge and encourage growth; also, it provides alternatives, to make it as easy as possible to support businesses that support women. The scale with colors shows how the company is doing in relation to a 50/50 goal, but the colors show how the company is doing relatively to other companies, which makes it easy to reward companies' positive behavior.
We saw this as powerful from many lenses: for women as huge players in the economy, for job-seeking people who want to feel valued within the company culture, for businesses trying to improve their public image, to reward businesses that are making strides in this area and urge businesses that are not to do so, and even as a tool for investors, to understand information that is often hidden by companies.
How we built it
We tried to use datasets from data.gov, but eventually ended up creating our own because the information we wanted to use needed to be curated. We created macros on Google Sheets (so the scores could be updated in realtime) to calculate the scores, and imported this data into our webpage coded with CSS, HTML, and JS.
Challenges we ran into
None of us knew how to code the algorithm, so we created a workaround with the Excel sheet. All of us had basic knowledge of HTML, so we all spent time re-learning and discovering it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're very proud of the idea in general, and the amount of design work we did around it. We were also proud when we were able to import all the data into the website!
What we learned
We learned HTML, CSS, Excel, embedding Google Docs, how to work as a team, HCI principles.
What's next for Buy or Boycott
In the future, we want to build features to evaluate private companies without information about their boards, give businesses a quiz to see what their own rankings would be and provide tangible, actionable steps for growth, as creating agency around improvement is crucial; and enable people to see a more expansive list of the companies. We also want to be able to factor in the industry in our growth, and grow the tool to global companies as well.