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Magazine’s List of Best Companies For Working Moms With BC-Working Mother-List

September 18, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ The best companies for women offer child care assistance and ″family- friendl y″ leave policies, Working Mother magazine said Tuesday in releasing its fifth annual roster of the top employers for working mothers.

The magazine didn’t rank the companies from best to worst, but cited 10 for exceptionally progressive policies: Apple Computer; Boston’s Beth Israel teaching hospital; Du Pont, the chemical company; Fel-Pro, a supplier to the auto industry; HBO; IBM; Merck, the drug maker; Morrison & Foerster, a San Francisco law firm; Procter & Gamble, and SAS Institute, a computer software company.

All 75 companies on the 1990 list offered some form of child care program or assistance and long-term unpaid leaves with benefits, some stretching up to three years, the magazine said its in October issue.

More than half provide child care either in or near the workplace, 20 percent help with care for aging relatives, and a growing number are offering paid paternity leaves of at least one week.

The latest list was expanded to 75 companies from the 60 a year earlier and more than double the 30 companies that appeared in the initial ranking published in 1986.

Deputy Editor Susan Seliger said the expansion reflected the increased number of companies that have grown sensitive to the needs of the working mother, one of the fastest growing segments of the American work force.

″These people see the writing on the wall, and it doesn’t matter if they’re small or large,″ she said.

The companies were evaluated on compensation, opportunities for women to advance, support for child care and family-oriented benefits such as parental leave, flexible working hours, job-sharing and working at home.

Among what the magazine called the more forward-looking programs were IBM’s commitment to spend $22 million on child care and $3 million on elderly care over the next five years; Du Pont’s network of child-care centers and a sick- care center near its Wilmington, Del., headquarters; and Fel-Pro’s in-home tutoring and $1,000 bond for newborns.

Other companies not on the top 10 also were singled out for innovation. America West Airlines offers a 24-hour child care center; Stride Rite, the children’s shoe company, has established what the magazine called the country’s only intergenerational center caring for both children and elderly relatives of employees; and Lost Arrow, a maker of outdoor clothes, provides up to eight weeks of paid paternity leave.

The smallest company on the list, G.T. Water Products of Moorpark, Calif., provides an on-site school for children of its 32 employees. Women hold three of the four top management positions at the company, which makes drain cleaning products for the plumbing industry.

Seliger said the list was based on a survey of the benefits and practices of hundreds of companies by author Milton Moskowitz and researcher Carol Townsend, who also worked together on the book The 100 Best Companies to Work For in America.

The magazine noted that the companies offering pro-family benefits believe they are good for business.

″SAS Institute, which runs two 100 percent subsidized child care centers, currently has a turnover rate of 7 percent, less than one third the 24 percent average in the software industry,″ the magazine said.

It noted that the fastest growing segment of the work force was mothers of chidren under the age of 6, according to government figures. The magazine predicted that by 1995, two thirds of mothers with preschoolers and three quarters of mothers with school-age kids will be working.

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