Working Mother Magazine names the best companies for working moms

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NEW YORK — Balancing work and family demands can be difficult. But some companies are making strides to offer family-friendly perks.

Working Mother Magazine released its annual 100 Best Companies list Tuesday, choosing the best employers based on flexibility, paid time off, advancement and child care along with other benefits.

“This year we gave particular weight to representation of women, advancement programs and flexibility” said Jennifer Owens editorial director of Working Mother Media.

The companies on the list offer new moms an average of eight weeks of fully paid time off. The amount of paid leave for new moms has fluctuated between seven and eight weeks since 2008, according to Owens, while the average for paid paternity leave is three weeks.

The list, which turns 30 this year, is based on a 500-question survey. To be eligible, a company must offer at least one week of paid maternity leave and have 500 U.S. employees.

IBM and Johnson & Johnson are the only two companies to make the list every year since its inception. In July, IBM announced it will cover the cost for traveling mothers to ship their breast milk home. The company also offers new moms 14 weeks paid leave. At Johnson & Johnson, new moms can take up to 17 weeks of paid leave.

When the list first launched in 1985, it included 30 companies, only five of which offered paid maternity leave. None offered paid leave for new fathers. The U.S. does not require companies offer paid parental leave to employees. The Family and Medical Leave Act, which passed in 1993, requires 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave to some workers.

Recently, companies have been increasing their parental benefits — particularly in the tech world. Microsoft and Adobe increased parental leave this summer and Netflix announced unlimited paid time off for new parents during a child’s first year.

But some of the larger tech companies don’t apply to be on the list, according to Owens. She added that family-friendly policies go beyond offering paid leave.

“There is a lot more to supporting your workforce than paid leave. It’s creating a culture that taking the leave is supported so people take it,” she said.

At software company CA Technologies, which made the list, flexible work schedules are common with around 30% of employees formally telecommuting or working from home full time, according to Working Mother. The company also offers unlimited vacation time.

Avon Products helps new parents make ends meet. The cosmetics company covers its female employees’ maternity delivery bills, provides $10,000 to help with adoption costs and up to $114,000 to help with IVF, the magazine reported.

Here are Working Mother’s top 10 companies for 2015:

  • Abbott
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • General Mills
  • IBM
  • KPMG
  • McKinsey
  • PwC
  • WellStar Health System
  • Zoetis
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