Magazine: Top Firms for Working Parents

ByABC News
September 5, 2000, 11:21 AM

Sept. 5 -- While more companies are offering family-friendly options such as on-site child care, such perks designed to help working moms and dads remain the exception not the norm in corporate America, according to a new Working Mother magazine survey released today.

As part of the survey, the magazine unveiled its 15th annual list of topemployers that help working parents balance their careers and family life.

In truth, most of us dont get these benefits. Thats the downside of this list. The people on our list provide remarkable things, but very few Americans actually have access to this, Lisa R. Benenson, editor-in-chief of the magazine, told ABCNEWS.

Allstate Tops the Top 10

Among the 100 companies listed in the survey, Working Mother named 10 companies as exceptionally progressive: Allstate Insurance Co.,Bank of America Corp., Eli Lilly and Co., Fannie Mae, IBM Corp.,Lincoln Financial Group, Life Technologies Inc., Merrill Lynch &Co. Inc., Novant Health Inc. and Prudential Financial Services.

IBM has been among the top 10 for 13 years, since the listsinception longer than any other company.

The survey of 100 employers also featured some newcomers. Novant Health Inc., based in Winston-Salem, N.C., is among 21 companies on the list for the first time. The health care consortium offers nurses a nine-month work schedule, pet health insurance and roadside assistance plans.

And this year, Working Mother awarded a special award in the smallbusiness category, honoring Sheri Benjamin, CEO of the BenjaminGroup/BSMG Worldwide, a public relations firm. The company helpspay gym membership fees and hosts a Keep Fit program, in whichemployees whod rather surf or walk instead of joining a gym earnan hourly rate.

The companies were selected based on their family-friendly practices including daycare options among other factors.

Dry Cleaners and More

About 68 percent of the companies selected for the list offer on-site or near site daycare, compared to 10 percent of the workforce, notes magazine editor Benenson.