The U.S. workplace has become more friendly to the needs of working moms, but surveys show there’s still a lot of progress to be made. In 2018, there was a slight increase in women with children under 18 years old in the workforce (71.5% in 2018 versus 71.1% in 2017), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While more moms may be working, some surveys reveal it’s still difficult for many to return to work after having children. Thirty-one percent of women with children under the age of 18 who live at home said they’ve wanted to return to work but couldn’t because their jobs were too inflexible, according to a July 2019 FlexJobs survey. The same survey showed 71% of those moms either left or considered leaving their jobs because they lacked flexibility.
Fortunately, many top companies across the nation are taking the lead in making their workplaces better for moms (and fathers) by offering benefits such as paid parental leave, flexible work schedules, and gradually phasing moms back into the workforce after taking maternity leave.
Here are five U.S. companies that are widely seen as the most family-friendly to consider for moms returning to the workforce:
Deloitte is a professional services company based in New York, New York, and the fourth-largest privately held company in the U.S. It has also developed a stellar reputation as one of the nation’s best companies for working parents.
Working Mother put Deloitte in the top 10 of the 100 Best Companies in 2019, noting its generous benefits for working moms and dads, its career advancement opportunities for women, and its advancement opportunities for multicultural women.
The company offers 26 weeks of paid maternity leave to new mothers, flexible schedules for moms returning to work, and three days of paid leave when children are sick (per “incident”), among several family-friendly policies.
2. Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is a well-known Fortune 500 company based in New Jersey that’s also become known as a top company for working parents. The company has made Working Mother’s top companies list for 34 consecutive years and was named the No. 1 company for working moms in 2019.
All new parents at Johnson & Johnson (maternal, paternal, and adoptive) can take eight additional weeks of paid leave during the first year of the family’s birth or adoption. The company also has six on-site childcare centers at campuses across the country, and it offers childcare discounts through a national provider.
3. Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble (P&G) is another big American multinational company that has a strong array of family-friendly workplace policies and benefits. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the consumer goods company is frequently named as a top 100 company by Working Mother.
Last year, the company significantly upgraded its benefits for working moms and dads. P&G now offers up to a $40,000 lifetime limit in reimbursements for family adoption, fertility, or surrogate parenting expenses. Paid leave for new moms was extended from nine weeks to 16 weeks in 2016.
4. Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young (EY) is the seventh-largest privately owned company in the U.S., and it employs more than 270,000 people in 150 countries. Like the other companies we’ve mentioned, it’s also a leader in family-friendly workplace policies and complies with all U.S. employment & labor laws.
EY upgraded parental benefits in 2016 and it now offers new moms and dads up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave. The benefits are available to men and women welcoming a new child through birth, adoption, surrogacy, foster care, or legal guardianship. The company also offers support services for new parents, such as its Career and Family Transitions Coaching program. The program provides individual coaching sessions to help working parents before, during, and after parental leave.
You may have heard of IBM. It’s that IT company that’s one of the world’s largest employers and has invented technologies like ATMs and UPC barcodes. Did you also know IBM is a great company for working parents?
One of IBM’s most well-known policies is its reimbursement of up to $50,000 per child for services addressing mental, physical, and developmental disabilities. The company has offered this benefit for more than 30 years.
In 2017, IBM also expanded its paid parental leave policy. New moms are now offered 20 weeks of paid leave and new fathers and adoptive parents get up to 14 weeks of paid leave. Also, IBM now pays up to $20,000 for adoption and surrogacy expenses.
However, there’s one downside of working at IBM for new parents. Back in 2017, Quartz reported Big Blue also reined in remote working policies for 5,000 workers, making schedules less flexible for new parents.