Best Companies Rank (76)Name: Tina Swenson
Title: Tax manager (on leave)
Tenure: Seven years
Best benefit: As part of Deloitte's Personal Pursuits Program, Swenson is on a five-year sabbatical to raise her daughter. Deloitte pays for her AICPA license and training courses and will rehire her when she's ready.
"Too often, we were still hearing some of our best people say, 'Love the firm, love the clients, goodbye,' " says Cathy Benko, a principal in Deloitte's strategy consulting practice. Benko cites the statistic that 62 percent of women who graduated from her alma mater, Harvard Business School, leave the corporate world after their second child. Though Deloitte offered plenty of benefits like parental leave, adoption aid and reduced work hours, it wasn't enough. So Benko came up with the Personal Pursuits Program, which lets employees leave for up to five years, receive training to keep their skills current and eventually come back.
Tina Swenson was a tax manager in the San Diego office who moved last year when her husband enrolled in Dartmouth Medical School. She also had a baby. Deloitte foots the bill for Swenson's AICPA membership and sends her to training courses to keep her CPA license current. "I can't say enough good things about Deloitte for doing this," she says. "It's made me very loyal." Meanwhile, since Deloitte began the program, Benko says, its dropout rate has plummeted. Five years ago the difference between the number of women and men who were quitting stood at 7 percent, or about the average for professional firms. Now it's zero.
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