Best companies for working moms
The companies providing the best support for working moms, including child care, flexible work and parental leave.
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Since 1976, when the US Census started tracking the data, the number of mothers in the workplace has doubled.
Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media, says while women have taken on more and more responsibility at work, their responsibilities at home haven't changed with the times.
"Whether they're working outside of the home, or whether they're staying at home, they have the same goal: that is to raise fabulous children, be really close to them and do a great job as moms."
Evans says one of the biggest challenges for working moms is maternity leave. In the US, paid maternity leave is not mandated by the government, and women are at the mercy of what their employers are able and willing to provide.
"We are one of only four countries in the developed world that don't have paid maternity leave mandated. And that includes countries like Papua New Guinea and Liberia ... which is really an outrage."
Fortunately, says Evans, there are some companies that go out of their way to support working mothers by providing paid maternity leave and other benefits.
"Working Mother" magazine profiles these companies in its 'Working Mother 100 Best Companies' feature every year.
According to the magazine's web site, companies are assessed in seven areas: workforce profile, benefits, women's issues and advancement, child care, flexible work, parental leave and company culture.
Abbot, a pharmaceutical firm; management consulting firm Accenture; Allsate Insurance; and American Express are some of the companies that made the 2009 list.
One of the benefits at the top of the list for working moms is flexibility, says Evans. "Companies are doing a great job at creating flexibility, not only in your day, but also in your career. Allowing a woman to have flexibility in her career -- that is key."
"Working Mother" also considers race and gender in its assessment. "Companies weren't really looking at where race and gender met in the workplace, and they had a big surprise when we started examining this."
Evans says many companies didn't do so well in this area. They found women of color lacked appropriate mentoring and exposure. "Women of color do worse as they go up the ladder than white women. White women have a big struggle as well because men, whether they're multicultural men or not, they do much better than white women. But for multicultural women, the gap is much bigger."
See full list of 'Working Mother 100 Best Companies 2009.'
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