- Working Mother magazine's 2017 list of 100 Best Companies shows that 100% of the top employers offer paid maternity leave, which rose on average from nine to 10 weeks, yet only 30% of all other employers offer paid maternity leave. The top companies were selected based on the level of female representation and advancement and their policies on parental leave, benefits, flextime and childcare.
- The magazine found a wide disparity in policies and programs between the "best companies" and all other companies, which it calls a “Best vs. the Rest” comparison. A comparison of policies that aid parents shows that 98% of the best companies offer paid adoptive leave versus 23% of all other companies, 97% of the best companies offer paid paternity leave compared to 24% of the rest and 93% of the top companies offer adoption assistance versus 9% for all other employers.
- A comparison of health and wellness initiatives shows 100% of the best companies offer dental coverage versus 96% of all other companies, 99% of the top companies offer health screening programs versus 29% of the rest of the companies and 86% of the best companies offer fitness center membership compared with 26% of all other companies.
WM's top companies are a select few. That means most other companies aren't as progressive as they could be in recruiting, hiring and promoting working women and setting policies that support them as breadwinners and caregivers.
Despite the increased visibility of paid parental leave, most employers aren't offering the benefit, according to a SHRM-Families and Work Institute study. Working parents want to be able to meet their family responsibilities without jeopardizing their careers or sacrificing a much-needed paycheck.
More U.S. employers are seeing the value of offering paid maternity leave, but their numbers still lag behind that of other industrial countries. WM's top companies list is proof of this disparity. Until paid maternity and parental leave are recognized as essential benefits for working parents, they'll likely remain back-burner agenda items.
WM's top companies get "A's" for having family-friendly policies, but still need to improve the numbers of women in top leadership roles. Although the female-to-male ratio among Working Mother's top 100 companies is 46% to 54%, the ratio of women-to-men in top executive positions is 28% to 72%, a significant gap. Employers might look to companies like Accenture for guidance in setting and meeting hiring goals for women and Unilever for promoting women into leadership roles.