Thanks to Summer Associate Christopher Hawthorne for his assistance with this blog entry.

In an era of consumers making choices based on whether companies have ethical labor and sourcing practices, a new app now tracks how female friendly a company is. “Buy Up Index,” reveals whether a company’s workplace policies and practices accommodate and empower its female employees. Through this app, consumers no longer have to rely on the company’s public persona.

The app uses four criteria—women employees, women’s leadership, corporate citizenship, and marketing—to create an overall score that grades the company’s treatment of its female employees. Employers are graded from A to C.  From maternity leave to the representation of women in leadership roles, Buy Up Index gives insight as to which employers are at the forefront of gender and diversity issues in the workplace.

With this type of information at consumers’ fingertips, companies should be aware that their internal policies and practices may be available to those on the outside and used for the purpose of encouraging or discouraging consumers from purchasing their products or services. While the app promises that it fact-checks the data thoroughly, it remains to be seen how accurate or complete the data really is. Given the increasing transfer of information electronically, employee policies designed to encourage recruitment and retention of female employees may have the added benefit of increasing the company’s goodwill and bottom line.