New York, NY (September 15, 2011) — Working Mother magazine readers want flexibility and they want it now. In survey after survey, working moms rank flexible work arrangements as the most desired benefit they seek, even higher than compensation or paid days off. The 2011 Working Mother 100 Best Companies, released today, are meeting this need and reaping big rewards through increased productivity, better employee loyalty and even lower absenteeism.
Flexible work arrangements at the 2011 Working Mother 100 Best Companies are themselves flexible, giving employees the power to create their own workday and workplace, even their own flexible career path. "The Working Mother 100 Best Companies allow employees to flex their day, their week, their year and their career," said Carol Evans, President of Working Mother Media. "And these companies are benefitting in so many ways. Not only do they enhance loyalty and dedication among their employees with children, but their entire workforce has a high level of readiness and adaptability when disasters strike."
The Working Mother 100 Best Companies are judged on answers to 650 questions, including data on the access and usage of flexible work arrangements, parental leave, childcare, health and wellness support and the advancement of women to all levels of management. The top ten scoring companies, which receive special recognition for scoring the highest on the application, are Bank of America, Deloitte, Discovery Communications, Ernst & Young, General Mills, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prudential Financial, TriHealth and WellStar.
Jennifer Owens, Editorial Director of Working Mother said, "The reason flexibility is so important to working moms is that they want to do their best at home and in the office. Flexible work arrangements allow moms both. The Working Mother Best Companies want to win the war for talent and productivity— especially in a down economy—and they have figured out how to make flex work.”
Some of the creative and advanced flexible work arrangements offered by the Working Mother 100 Best Companies include:
- Flex coupons that allow workers to take paid time off in increments as short as two hours, rather than forcing parents to take a full day off for an after-school doctor’s visit
- The ability to shift start and stop times to fit commuting, child-care and eldercare schedules
- Compressed workweeks that give workers longer weekends to attend to life and family needs
- Job sharing to split an all-consuming workload between two colleagues looking for more time for their kids or aging parents
- On- and off-ramp programs that let staffers take long breaks away from work to bond with a baby or go back to school while still maintaining professional connections, skills and even certifications for when they’re ready to return
- Automatic phase-back programs that allow new moms to transition back to work on a temporary part-time schedule
- Options for employees to speed or slow their advancement without penalty to help them better balance work and home responsibilities
Companies that have been on the Working Mother list the longest include IBM and Johnson & Johnson, which have both been honored all 26 years, as well as American Express (21 years), Citi (21 years), DuPont (23 years), Marriott International (20 years), Merck (25 years) and Procter & Gamble (23 years). Two companies, Ernst & Young and KPMG, also joined the prestigious Working Mother Hall of Fame in 2011 after earning a place on the Working Mother 100 Best Companies for 15 years.
Profiles of the 100 Best Companies, as well as national comparisons, are chronicled in the October issue of Working Mother and at workingmother.com/bestcompanies. Working Mother is a division of Bonnier Corporation.
Companies were selected for the 2011 Working Mother 100 Best Companies based on an extensive application with more than 650 questions that surveys the usage, availability and tracking of programs, as well as the accountability of managers who oversee them. Seven areas were measured and scored for the 2011 initiative: workforce profile, benefits, women’s issues and advancement, child care, flexible work, parental leave and company culture. For this year’s 100 Best, particular weight was given to benefits, flexibility and parental leave.
For more information on applying for the 2012 Working Mother 100 Best Companies, visit www.wmmsurveys.com. The 2012 online application will be available in mid-December and due by early March 2012. All companies that apply, including those that don’t make the Working Mother 100 Best Companies list, receive feedback showing how they compare with all other applicants.
About Working Mother Media
Working Mother magazine reaches 2.2 million readers and is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers; WorkingMother.com www.workingmother.com)/" href="http://%28www.workingmother.com%29/">(www.workingmother.com) gives working mothers @home and @work advice, solutions, and ideas. This year marks the 26th anniversary of Working Mother’s signature research initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies, and the ninth year of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women. Working Mother Media, a division of Bonnier Corporation (www.bonnier.com), includes the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE, www.nafe.com), Diversity Best Practices (www.diversitybestpractices.com), and the Working Mother Research Institute. Working Mother Media’s mission is to serve as a champion of culture change.