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Better benefits for working moms
Magazine's list of best companies highlights perks, including elder care referral, take-home meals.
September 21, 2004: 10:09 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Nontraditional benefits from elder-care referral services to take-home meals are the kinds of employee assistance earning companies a place on the latest list of best companies for working mothers.


The 19th annual such list, compiled by Working Mother magazine, has a new top 100 companies and top 10 companies.

Nontraditional benefits that are relatively rare in the broader universe of employers is common among companies making the list, according to the magazine. For example, 97 percent of the companies on the 100 best list offer compressed workweeks and job-sharing opportuities, while only 34 percent of companies nationwide offer the compressed week and only 17 percent offer job sharing.

The magazine does rank companies within the top 10 or top 100 companies lists. Its new top 10 list has six companies returning from last year's winners: drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly &Co., computer maker IBM, financial services firms Prudential Financial Inc. and Wachovia Corp., and household products maker S.C. Johnson & Son.

New to the top 10 list are Johnson & Johnson, J.P. Morgan Chase, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Discovery Communications.

Those four companies replace drugmaker Abbott Laboratories, consultant Booz Allen Hamilton, mortgage finance firm Fannie Mae and foodmaker General Mills. All four of the companies dropped from the top 10 list remained on the broader top 100 list.

Working Mother said that companies must now go beyond essential needs of working mothers, such as maternity leave and phase-back programs for new moms, so they can provide a broader range of support.

For example, IBM has started intergenerational dependent-care centers and offers home-care reviews for aging parents. Discovery Communications reimburses employees for their personal trainer.

The magazine said that the companies benefit from the programs offered as well as the parents who work there.

"Companies know that healthy employees mean a healthy bottom line. Wellness programs cut absenteeism, increase productivity, and build loyalty," said Working Mother Editor-in-Chief Susan Lapinski.  Top of page

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