Workplace issues like career advancement, child care, flexible work schedules, leave policies and wage equality are not just female concerns.
Today, men also recognize the benefits of working for an employer that offers you the ability to be successful at work while still taking care of your family responsibilities.
Hundreds of companies compete each year to be recognized as Working Mother 100 Best Companies, based on four primary criteria — advancement of women, paid parental leave, child care and flexible work schedules.
This year, nine insurance companies (P&C, life and health) received the honor.
Flexible work schedules highly valued
Our nation is home to 24 million working mothers — 70 percent of moms with kids under age 18 are employed. Flexibility is the No. 1 policy working moms covet, according to Working Mother. Flex comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the 2015 Best Companies all offer it.
An average of 74 percent of employees use basic flextime, but these organizations also focus on ways to individualize flexible work offerings to best serve all of their employees and business.
Sadly, most new parents in the United States receive no paid leave when they have a baby or adopt a child. Only 5 percent of companies offer fully paid maternity leave, according to the 2014 National Study of Employers, from the Families and Work Institute.
By contrast, every Working Mother 100 Best Companies offers fully paid maternity leave to its full-time employees who have been on the payroll for at least a year.
On the following pages are the nine insurance companies recognized as 2015 Working Mother 100 Best Companies (listed in alphabetical order).
1. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Golden Valley, Minn.)
It costs $40 per day, on average, to use the day care at Allianz headquarters, which serves 100 kids. At that same site, a gym offers exercise classes ($20 per month). As an added incentive, active employees can earn medical premium discounts worth $300 to $600 per year.
Allianz annually offers employees $5,250 in tuition aid, a 401(k) with 7.5 percent salary match and up to $1,200 in health saving account (HSA) contributions. In hard times, they can request $5,000 in grants to cover their medical or living expenses and take 20 extra paid days off.
2. Allstate Insurance (Northbrook, Ill.)
This property and casualty insurer maintains a day care facility and medical clinics at its largest sites and offers a twice-daily shuttle to a fitness center near headquarters.
Alternative schedules and seminars on optimism, mindfulness and meditation keep things positive. Affinity groups address issues important to women and parents.
3. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (Durham, N.C.)
Up to 25 days of infant transition care or backup child care are available annually. Those who scale back their hours (with management’s approval) won’t injure their chances for promotion. Also, new “Lean In” circles support career achievement.
Babysitting evenings held on-site also give Mom and Dad time alone. This company also offers summer day camps for kids under age 12, keeping children entertained when school is not in session.
4. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ (Newark, N.J.)
Forty-nine percent of employees here work from home full- or part-time. Many of the health insurer’s six offices operate their own fitness and/or day care centers, labs, medical clinics and pharmacies.