4 Big Trends - 2017 Working Mother 100 Best

4 trends - working mothers

What makes a great company for working mothers? Look no further than the 2017 Working Mother 100 Best.

"Winners represent about 2 million employees at more than 28,000 worksites around the country," reads the pub's intro. "Their flex policies, parental leaves and advancement programs make these companies the best for moms." And it's not just about what they offer, but what people actually use.

What are some of the trends from this year's list?

Leave alone is not enough

The "100 Best" know leave isn't the only cog in the working-mother wheel; they're fully focused on what happens after leave. And they offer the benefits to prove it. The best offer child care, with more than 90% providing back-up care. And because parents are family, too, these companies offer elder support at more than four-times the rate of other US companies.

Flexibility rules

It's no surprise that nearly all of the Working Mother honorees offer flex-time and telecommuting. Study after study has shown Millennials (who are having most of today's babies) value work/life balance ahead of even career advancement. And flexibility, said a recent report, is near the top of their list. As one Top 100 employee told the publication, "If you're doing good work, you're doing good work," she says. "It doesn't matter if you are down the hall or in another state."

Elementary schoolers and teenagers are children too

A commenter on a recent Slate article lamented that work policies focus exclusively on newborns. "I've been a mom for 13 years," she wrote. "Guess what? It still affects me." The 100 Best have taken this to heart. Of 2017 honorees, 88% offer special needs support, 63% offer college coaching, and many more help with tutoring and homework. "It's the coolest thing for individuals like myself who have older kids to see their employers not just work on maternity, paternity and adoption benefits," gushed one mom whose benefits saved her thousands on her daughter's college search. "When I see my employer committed to following you as you age, it makes me feel more committed to the company."

Women's careers need to be stoked

It's no wonder that nearly half of top company managers are women: these companies work at it. Nearly 90% (and all of the top 10) are doing surveys on women's issues; and nearly three quarters are aggressively supporting women by training managers on how to hire, advance, and manage them.

For those wondering why the above insights matter, the answer is good business. The talent shortage is real, and it will take every working mother and father to fill the rosters. And supportive policies add up to the two big "Rs" of HR: recruitment and retention.

As our CEO Dave Lissy said recently, "We have long said that to help people truly succeed, you have to see your employees as whole people, with lives outside of work that require support and understanding,

"When employers recognize this, they often find and keep their most valuable employees."
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Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.