Published On: Fri, Sep 23rd, 2011

Top 10 Best Companies for Working Mothers

Working Mother Media, a company focused on culture change for working moms, women and diversity in the workplace, has challenged corporate America to better serve its working mothers. The media company’s Research Institute recently focused on the 2011 list of Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies. The Companies featured on the list are regarded as being great employers for the simple reason that they are always looking for ways to improve their corporations.

Here are the top ten companies featured:

1. Abbott

Interesting Fact: In 2010, 56% of Abbott’s management promotions went to women.

The right mentor can change everything in a woman’s career, helping her to make better choices, connect with influential people and gain exposure to key opportunities. To facilitate such relationships, this health-care company offers several formal mentoring circles and an online matching program that has generated more than 2,500 one-on-one pairings since 2005. Employees also seek out potential advisors in its six employee networks, among them Women Leaders in Action, an 11-chapter group that provides educational seminars and professional guidance to its more than 5,000 members. Flexible hours and the frequent use of telecommuting arrangements help parents continue to spend time with their families even as their job responsibilities grow, and tuition aid of up to $7,000 annually supports employee advancement.

Chairman & CEO Miles D. White

Senior VP, HR Stephen Fussell

Women managers/execs 44%

Women among top earners 38%

Women hires in 2010 48%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 4

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? No

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly 89%

2. Accenture

Interesting Fact: Accenture’s Biggest Winner weight-loss competition encouraged 7,500 employees to lose 18,000 lbs. in 2010.

Designing workplace solutions to fit the differing needs of clients in 120 countries has clearly taught the leaders of this management consulting, technology and outsourcing company to think outside the box. Just as they often recommend the use of flexible schedules to other organizations, so too do they trust their own people to work unorthodox hours or operate from locations of their own choice. Up to 80% of the company’s employees adjusted their hours and telecommuted at some point last year, and the availability of teleconferencing at nearly every office site does away with the need for excess travel. Moms may take eight fully paid weeks off to give birth, and many of them reduce their hours when they return to the office. If they need help with the kids, they can tap 40 hours of subsidized backup care annually, available in-home or at local centers.

CEO Pierre Nanterme

Chief HR Officer Jill Smart

Women managers/execs 33%

Women among top earners 27%

Women hires in 2010 32%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 8

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? No

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly 75%

3. American Electric Power

Interesting Fact: Anyone who works at American Electric Power for 20 hours per week is eligible for family health insurance.

It takes a real leap of faith to trust a new caregiver to look after your child or elderly relative, but this utility company helps employees do just that by offering a variety of solid options. Mothers who have infants, toddlers and kindergartners access subsidized rates at a day-care facility near the Columbus, OH, headquarters; those who live in other locations rely on discounts at a nationwide web of child-care centers. employees receive up to 20 days of backup care annually, which they use to request in-home help ($4 per hour) or visit area facilities ($15 per day). Parents of tweens and teens mingle in company-sponsored support groups; their older kids benefit from counseling, college-coaching programs and scholarships.

Chairman, President & CEO Michael Morris

VP, HR Genevieve Tuchow

Women managers/execs 12%

Women among top earners 12%

Women hires in 2010 22%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 4

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? No

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly Not tracked

4. American Express

Interesting Fact: American Express’ Parents @ Amex programs offer useful solutions to employees at every life stage, whether they’re expecting babies or empty nests.

Describing its commitment to the health of its employees as a “core business value,” the management behind this financial services company promotes well-being in its ranks. moms who want to lose weight, screen for medical conditions or reduce stress can visit wellness clinics at seven locations to consult with nurses, health coaches, dietitians and physicians; the recent addition of mobile dentistry and pharmacy services saves even more time. many sites offer fitness centers with workout classes and cafeterias with nutritious meals. Under the banner of its Healthy living program, the company offers seminars on eating well, provides free generic drugs to help stave off chronic conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure) and grants access to a 24-hour nursing hotline.

New York, NY Chairman & CEO Kenneth Chenault

Executive VP, HR Kevin Cox

Women managers/execs 44%

Women among top earners 46%

Women hires in 2010 59%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 10

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? Yes

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly 4%

5. AOL

Interesting Fact: AOL employees appreciate its two on-site childcare centers in Dulles, VA, both of which remain open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Plenty of perks lure mothers to this Web services company. If they need to drive their kids to school events or leave at midday to make doctors’ appointments, they have the freedom to adjust their hours or work remotely—and can rely on generous paid time off when the unexpected happens. If they require extended leaves after the birth of their children, they can request 16 job-guaranteed weeks off, with six weeks fully paid. And if they are initially hired into executive positions, they can get help making the transition with 90-Day Fusion, a program that provides temporary professional coaching. Employees who enroll in AOL’s GET FIT initiative earn cash rewards for exercising and riding their bicycles to work, and they may even reduce their medical insurance premiums by completing health-risk assessments.

Chairman & CEO Tim Armstrong

VP Gillian Pon, PhD

Women managers/execs 34%

Women among top earners 31%

Women hires in 2010 50%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 6

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? Yes

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly Not tracked

6. AON

Interesting Fact: In 2010, Aon began diversity and inclusion training for managers and made online versions of that training mandatory for new employees.

Women launch major careers at this global risk management, insurance and human resources consulting firm. To prepare them for success, the firm just introduced Aon University, an online learning portal with job-related courses, and the Centre for Women in Leadership, which helps them ascend into larger roles. Rising stars at the senior management level may be nominated for the Catalyst and Horizons leadership programs, which provide critical work opportunities; annual tuition aid of up to $5,000 benefits everyone. Seminars and workshops on designing the perfect “elevator speech,” enhancing professional effectiveness and improving health and wealth promote attendees’ gains. The Women’s International Network offers access to mentors.

CEO Gregory Case

Senior VP & Global Head of HR Jeremy Farmer

Women managers/execs 43%

Women among top earners 32%

Women hires in 2010 55%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 7

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? Yes

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly 85%

7. Arnold & Porter

Interesting Fact: At Arnold & Porter, all new attorneys are automatically assigned mentors; mid-level associates are paired with senior attorneys or partners.

Visitors to this law firm’s headquarters are likely to witness employees dining at their office cafeteria, working out at the corporate gym or walking their kids to its on-site child-care center. But those aren’t the only ways these workers fit multiple activities into their busy days: It’s thought that 100% of them used flextime at some point last year, while 70% worked off-site and 50% compressed their schedules. Full benefits are available to anyone logging 25 hours per week, and many of those who do seek guidance from the firm’s part-time work advisors—two lawyers who have used alternative arrangements for years. The firm’s concierge service helps moms find housekeepers, plan parties and book hotels; its health advocate ensures they get proper medical care.

Executive Director Elizabeth Respess

Chief HR Officer Janet Robin

Women managers/execs 38%

Women among top earners 42%

Women hires in 2010 46%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 18

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? Yes

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly 100%

8. AstraZeneca

Interesting Fact: The childcare center at AstraZeneca’s headquarters served 477 kids in 2010.

Helping moms achieve a balance between their personal and professional lives is important to this pharmaceutical firm. After surveys revealed that its employees desired more emphasis on work life balance, it reviewed its procedures and began taking aggressive steps to root out low-value, time-wasting work. Managers prioritized assignments, streamlined their teams’ daily routines and scheduled workplace discussions with direct reports. The CONNECT Mentoring program, which facilitates career growth for women and people of color, was introduced; initiatives to help employees relax sprang up, from lunch-and-learns on handling stress to fitness and meditation sessions. Special events for women, parents and caregivers allowed moms to bond.

President, AstraZeneca U.S. & Regional VP, North America Richard Fante  

VP, HR North America Jayne Stanier

Women managers/execs 48%

Women among top earners 39%

Women hires in 2010 54%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 6

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? No

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly 66%

9. Bain & Co.

Interesting Fact: Bain & Co. employees frequently see each other off the clock, playing soccer, attending the theater, taking cooking classes and volunteering together.

Creative work arrangements are a hallmark of this management consulting firm, where all employees can flex their schedules and nearly all of them worked off-site at some point last year. Women may reduce their schedules by 40% and still be considered for promotions; in fact, most of the female partners here have worked part-time. Employees who desire more freedom can get it, too, as demonstrated by a group of administrative staffers who recently scored a formal flextime program. Moms love the firm’s two-month sabbaticals and educational leaves of absence (which include tuition aid). “Bain has been incredibly flexible in helping me create a career path tailored to my interests and priorities,” says Rebecca Tadikonda, a New York City–based manager and mom of two.

Worldwide Managing Director Steve Ellis

Partner & Chief Talent Officer Russ Hagey

Women managers/execs 35%

Women among top earners 20%

Women hires in 2010 46%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 12

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? No

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly 87%

10. Bank of America

Interesting Fact: If Bank of America employees or their family members encounter financial difficulties, they can apply for the bank’s hardship assistance.

Family health insurance is worth its weight in gold these days, but parents at this leading bank only need to work 20 hours per week to earn it. If they want to cut their out-of-pocket costs, they can save $5,000 annually in pretax health accounts; similar versions offset dependent-care and commuter expenses. While ten on and near-site child-care centers offer subsidies, parents can also call a resource and referral service to locate nannies, day cares, backup assistance and special-needs caregivers. Employees who are thinking about the future may consult the benefits Education and Planning center, whose counselors will pinpoint savings goals for their retirement and work with them to build a long-term financial strategy. Altruistic types may take two paid hours off per week to volunteer; over a year, that’s 13 days.

CEO Brian T. Moynihan

Global Head of HR Andrea Smith

Women managers/execs 47%

Women among top earners 37%

Women hires in 2010 57%

Average weeks of fully paid maternity leave offered 12

Allows new moms to “phase back” into work with reduced hours? Yes

Offers affinity group for new mothers? No

Offers backup childcare? Yes

Employees working flexibly 30%

See the full 2011 list of Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies here.

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  1. Jessica says:

    Its great to see companies like these going the extra mile for mothers. Countries in Europe, specifically Sweden have been practicing such for decades.

  2. P2P4U says:

    I think Top 10 Best Companies for Working Mothers | jobmouse is a solid post and you do a well written job of writing in depth.

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