Best Companies for Working Moms

Working Mother Magazine publishes its survey of the best companies for working moms each September; note that there is some overlap with the Fortune Magazine Best Companies list. Finance and insurance companies regularly constitute half the top 10 and nearly a third of the top 100. Here are the 2020 results.

Evaluation Criteria: Companies are assessed on three criteria:

  • Job flexibility, such as flexible hours and telecommuting
  • Availability of childcare or generosity of reimbursement plans
  • Amount of parental leave

All the 2020 top five in flexibility were financial firms:

  • Bank of America
  • Grant Thornton
  • KPMG
  • McGladrey
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers

Bank of America also was among the top five in childcare and parental leave. Citigroup was among the top five in parental leave.

2020 Overall Top 10: Financial companies (or companies with financial services subsidiaries) in the top 10 include:

  • Bank of America
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • KPMG
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers

2020 Rest of the Overall Top 100: Financial companies in the rest of the list include:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • American Express Company
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Capital One Financial Corporation
  • Citigroup
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Fannie Mae
  • FINRA
  • First Horizon National Corporation
  • First National Bank
  • Freddie Mac
  • Goldman, Sachs & Co
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • MasterCard Worldwide
  • McGladrey
  • MetLife, Inc.
  • Morgan Stanley
  • New York Life Insurance Company
  • Northern Trust Corporation
  • The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
  • Principal Financial Group
  • Prudential Financial, Inc.
  • WellPoint

Positives for Non-Moms: If the company rates high as a place for working moms because it welcomes them as part-time or temporary employees to meet seasonal peaks in workload, this can relieve the burden on other employees. This scenario is particularly likely with companies such as public accounting firms and tax preparation firms, which experience such seasonality.

Additionally, an especially accommodating attitude towards working moms may be indicative of a company philosophy that places great value upon allowing all employees to strike a healthy work/life or work/family balance. If so, this is a positive for all employees.

Negatives for Non-Moms: In most companies, however, rarely are work assignments reduced or work deadlines extended when a work group is rendered shorthanded as a result of maternity leave or other accommodations made for working moms. Instead, other staff members are expected to pick up the slack, often by being forced to work longer hours (at no extra pay if they are management or salaried/non-hourly) and/or to postpone their own time off.

The smaller the size of the work group in question, the greater the potential burden (in terms of both extra hours and effort) on its other members, especially if they already are working at close to capacity. In these cases, the best companies for moms may be less desirable for other employees.

Share Your Experiences: Are good firms for working moms bad for others?

Observations: A few severely troubled firms (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Citigroup) made the list. It is possible that paring back generous employee benefits may be necessary to restoring their profitability. Additionally, it is unclear whether benevolent policies on employee leave may have had the unintended result of reduced employee focus at the margins in these companies, contributing to their problems. Further study is needed to determine if this hypothesis has any validity.

The inclusion of the Blue Cross Blue Shield plans of North Carolina and New Jersey plus WellPoint is interesting in light of the 2020 federal health insurance reform act, which mandates caps on health insurers’ administrative expenses, with the intent of increasing payouts of claims to policyholders. Exceptionally generous employee benefits may come under pressure as a result.

2020 Overall Top 10: Financial companies (or companies with financial services subsidiaries) in the top 10 include:

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • Grant Thornton
  • The McGraw-Hill Companies

2020 Rest of the Overall Top 100: Financial companies in the rest of the list include:

  • Accenture
  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • American Express Company
  • Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One Financial Corporation
  • Citigroup
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deutsche Bank
  • FINRA
  • First Horizon National Corporation
  • First National Bank
  • Freddie Mac
  • General Electric Company
  • Goldman, Sachs & Co
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • KPMG
  • MassMutual Financial Group
  • MasterCard Worldwide
  • MetLife, Inc.
  • Morgan Stanley
  • New York Life Insurance Company
  • Northern Trust Corporation
  • Pearson Inc
  • The Phoenix Companies, Inc.
  • The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
  • Principal Financial Group
  • Prudential Financial, Inc.

Source: For more 2020 detail, see the article on the complete Working Mother Magazine list prepared by our Guide to Working Moms, Katherine Lewis.

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