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NEW sponsors named ‘best companies' for working moms

Friday, September 28, 2012  
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Eleven Network of Executive Women sponsors have been named to Working Mother magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies for Moms. The list recognizes companies for their wide array of progressive workplace programs, including child care, flexibility, advancement and paid family leave.

Named to the list were NEW foundation sponsors Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble; title sponsors Accenture, Deloitte, Johnson & Johnson and Unilever; platinum sponsors Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills and SC Johnson; and gold sponsors American Express and Valassis.

"This year’s 100 Best Companies are leading the way for the rest of the nation,” said Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media. "They have created not only essential benefits, like flexible work options and telecommuting, but have also shown their commitment in new ways like elder care referral and legal assistance to help busy parents manage their personal lives as well as their careers.”

Women made up 51 percent of all Best Companies employees – or 1.3 million last year -- and earned 48 percent of all promotions to manager, according to Working Mother.

"Female representation still shrinks the higher up the ladder we go – but for the first time in years, there are two important improvements: Women now account for 43 percent of all managers at the Best Companies, up from 40 percent. And women now represent 23 percent of all corporate executives, up one point from last year," Evans said.

Not only do the Best Companies all offer paid maternity leave (versus 16 percent the nation's employers), but they offer an average of seven fully paid weeks to employees who have worked at least a year. For dads, there is also paid paternity leave, at an average of three weeks paid, at 78 percent of Best Companies. Adoptive parents average six weeks of paid leave (up from five weeks last year) at 81 percent of Best Companies. More of the organizations named to the 100 Best Companies annual list are offering back-up child care. This year, 86 percent of the 100 Best winners offered back-up child care, while 93 percent offer child care resource and referral services.

Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother Media, said the companies on the list "know what it takes to keep all employees, but especially their employee moms, productive and engaged at work. As the stress surrounding work-life integration continues to rise, so does the opportunity for creating a win-win environment for employees and employers. The Working Mother 100 Best Companies see the payoff from their programs and policies and are outstanding examples for companies to emulate.”

The 2012 Working Mother 100 Best Companies application includes more than 500 questions on workforce representation, child care, flexibility programs, leave policies and more. It surveys the availability, usage and tracking of programs, as well as the accountability of managers who oversee them. This year, particular weight was given to child care, flexible scheduling options and advancement programs.

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