Top Companies for Women

by Liz O’Donnell (Boston)

Fortune Magazine recently released its annual list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Flexibility and integrating personal and professional lives are key considerations for prospective employees today –especially for women. The top companies recognize this and have added programs to ease employee’s personal workloads and child-rearing responsibilities. For example, more than one-fourth of the “Best Companies” offer an onsite child-care center. Another example: 82 percent of the companies allow employees to telecommute or work at home at least 20 percent of the time. Finally, 15 companies on this list pay 100% of their employees’ health-care premiums.

This year, Silicon Valley company NetApp tops the list, knocking Google from the perch it held for two years in a row. Among a slew of employee perks at this technology company, two stand out: adoption aid and autism coverage. NetApp, not coincidentally, also made the list of companies with the most women. Twenty-four percent of the employees are female. The companies with the highest percentage of women include a daycare provider (Bright Horizons, which has an almost all female team), a teddy bear giant (Build-a-Bear), and several healthcare companies.

The top 10 companies, according to Fortune, are:

  1. Storage company NetApp
  2. Brokerage firm Edward Jones
  3. Management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (Of interest: this company offers 100% fertility treatment coverage.)
  4. Search giant Google
  5. Supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets (Of interest: Employees can buy gift cards of up to $250 at a 10% discount to help with food costs; and the company is planning to offer free yoga classes at each of its stores.)
  6. Tech stalwart Cisco Systems
  7. Biotech leader Genentech
  8. Hospital owner Methodist Hospital System
  9. Wall Street survivor Goldman Sachs
  10. Supermarket chain Nugget Market.

The Fortune list is complied based on the results of an extensive employee survey. More than 81,000 employees from 353 companies responded to a 57-question survey. Some of the survey respondents are randomly selected. Companies that are at least seven years old and have more than 1,000 employees are eligible. Results are tallied and reviewed along with a Culture Audit on demographics, pay, benefits, corporate philosophy and communications practices. The list is further broken down by best perks including health care, child care (the magazine ranks these companies based on lowest monthly rates), work-life balance, telecommuting (the ranking is based on the companies with the highest percentage of telecommuters), sabbaticals and by biggest pay.

A comparison of the Fortune list with the list of top companies from Working Mother magazine, shows overlap with the following companies: Baptist Health South Florida, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and S.C. Johnson & Son. All of them, except for Baptist Health Childcare, make the list of companies with the most women. Baptist Health is on the list of companies offering the best childcare.

The complete list of companies along with descriptions and reasons for their rankings can be viewed here. In addition the specialty lists including best perks, location, number of women, best healthcare packages and highest pay can also be viewed at the site.

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