- Working Mother magazine named Unilever the No. 1 employer for career mothers on its annual list of 2018 "100 Best Companies." The winning firms were chosen for being leaders in the areas affecting parents and caregivers, such as career advancement for women, childcare assistance, benefits, paid parental leave and flextime.
- Based on data from the Society for Human Resource Management's 2018 Employee Benefits Report, statistics on the best companies showed that 100% provide paid maternity leave, compared to 35% of companies across the country, and 99% offer paid paternity leave and paid adoption leave, compared to 29% and 28% of firms nationwide, respectively.
- Key findings in the "Best Companies" report revealed that the top 10 firms offer, on average, 15 weeks of paid maternity leave versus an average of 11 weeks for companies on the entire list. The top 10 companies provide phase-back programs to help new mothers out on leave return to work, the report said. All 100 of the winning companies offer telecommuting (94% of women and men at the top 10 firms telecommute). Movement toward gender-neutral leave, however, is slow but steady. While less than a fifth of the winning companies offer the same number of weeks for both maternity and paternity leave, only 10% offered gender-neutral leave in 2015.
Employers looking to make the workplace inclusive for and supportive of women and working mothers can look to the top companies on Working Mothers list for guidance. The winning companies offer the benefits and perks workers say they value and need most, including paid parental leave, paid family leave, flexible work schedules, voluntary benefits and career development opportunities.
Paid parental leave has even become a key benefit for hourly workers, many of whom are working mothers in the retail industry, which traditionally faces high turnover. The benefits and perks employers offer can be invaluable talent-attraction, retention and engagement tools that can help them stay competitive, particularly in a tight labor market with record-low unemployment. Paid parental leave as well as flexibility might relieve burned-out parents from some of the challenges they face in trying to work and take care of their families.
Employers are slowly starting to recognize the needs of working fathers, too. By extending paternity leave, employers are supporting working mothers also by creating an environment of fairness and openness about taking time off for family.