Best foot forward. Best friends forever. All the best. Man’s best friend. You’re the best! Best in show. Best thing in the world. Live your best life. Father knows best. Best in class.
Being best means a lot to everyone. There is a quality to best-ness that we like. It isn’t boastful or arrogant. It’s just that it’s better than good,
a fulfillment of what is possible. I like to ask working mothers, “What kind of mom do you want to be?” They all want to be the best they can possibly be. No one wants to be a middling mom. So we work at being the best mom week after week, year after year, then decade after decade. We don’t give up, even when we think we’re not doing it best. Then we get that special hug, a poem, a devoted look, a thank-you, and we realize we are doing it—we’re the best moms.
Companies have to keep working at being best, too. For 27 years, we’ve been asking them to fight for and earn a precious designation as one of the Working Mother 100 Best Companies. It’s not easy to earn this Best designation, because we measure not just the family-friendly programs and policies that are offered but also who has access to them and how many people actually take advantage of them. If a company has strong, supportive programs but low usage, it means they haven’t gotten past the issue of stigma—where women feel they’ll be punished or passed over for putting the company’s progressive policies and programs to use.
To consistently earn a place on this coveted list, dedicated people inside each company have to work year after year, decade after decade—just like a mom—to really be best. They have to continuously improve programs and policies, monitor usage and build a culture that recognizes and values the contributions of moms.
Congratulations to those companies that are doing it, and to the people inside working week after week, year after year, to make their company a Working Mother Best. I’m sending a big hug and thank-you to each of you!