- Johnson & Johnson took the top spot on Working Mother's 2019 100 Best Companies list. Rounding out the top 10 in alphabetical order were AbbVie, Astellas, Bain & Company, Deloitte, EY, IBM, KPMG, Takeda and Unilever.
- Working Mother said the winners were selected for their focus on family-friendly benefits, including post-leave return-to-work policies, gender-neutral leave benefits and affordable, accessible childcare. The 100 best companies provided, on average, 11 weeks of paid maternity leave. More than half offered the same number of weeks to fathers.
- "Parents are speaking out more than ever before about what they need in order to succeed at work and at home, and employers are paying attention," Meredith Bodgas, Working Mother's editor-in-chief, said in a press release. "By implementing family-friendly policies such as flexible schedules, paid parental leave, post-leave phase-back periods and mentoring programs, our 100 Best Companies are taking the needs of their employees into consideration in order to create a supportive, inclusive and productive environment."
As Working Mother's criteria illustrate, gender equity goes beyond improving benefits for women, like maternity leave. Employers are increasingly betting on paid parental leave for men as a way to attract and advance female workers. After all, when parents both get bonding time, they're more likely to share household responsibilities later.
Halliburton, for example, did this as a way to recruit women into a male-dominated industry. And it required more than just the adoption of a new benefit, Jennifer Mericle, manager, global benefits at Halliburton, told attendees at a recent conference; It required a shift in thinking. "We really wanted this to be more than a program, we wanted this to be a culture change for us," she said. "This type of leave — taking time off to be with your family — was really not part of our culture."
Notably, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also has taken the position that unequal bonding time amounts to discrimination based on gender. Employers may, however, continue to also offer medical leave to birth mothers.