NEW YORK, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) has been named among the top ten of the Working Mother "100 Best Companies" for the sixth consecutive year. The 2009 list marks the firm's 15th appearance in this prominent benchmark for work-life practices in corporate America and affirms PwC's continued commitment to work/life flexibility, support for working parents and corporate responsibility.
By appearing on the list for a 15th time, PwC earned a place in Working Mother's '100 Best' Hall of Fame, reserved for companies that have made the '100 Best' list for 15 years or more. PwC was also recognized as "Best in Class - Flex in Company Culture," for being a leader in offering flexibility programs for its people.
At a time when many companies are reducing or eliminating programs, PwC continues to offer or expand numerous initiatives and benefits that enable its people to balance their work and personal lives. These include flexible work arrangements, sabbaticals, telecommuting and generous leave policies, among others.
Each year, approximately 2,000 PwC professionals become parents and take time off to care for their families. The firm has made significant investments to meet the needs of its working parents, including increasing paid parental leave, enhancing backup childcare options, launching Full Circle, a program for parents who off-ramp and then want to return to PwC, and introducing Mentor Moms, a support program for new moms and moms-to-be.
"At PwC we believe that courageous leadership includes taking the long view. It means doing the right thing for your people -- even during challenging times," said Bob Moritz, U.S. chairman and senior partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers. "This economic environment requires that we be even more creative about how we support our people -- including our working parents. New programs, such as Mentor Moms and our Special Needs Caregivers Circle, do have a big impact by helping our people find the resources they need to manage their work and personal responsibilities. Investing in our clients and our people is still our highest priority, and we are committed to getting through difficult challenges together."
"The unique challenges that working parents face in finding work/life flexibility are exacerbated during times of economic stress," added Jennifer Allyn, managing director of gender retention and advancement at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "The other side of crisis, however, is opportunity. At PwC, we believe this is an opportune time to invest in and enhance our talent. That is why PwC is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that supports the needs of our working parents in good times and in bad. Our latest efforts such as Mentor Moms don't require big budgets, just creative collaboration and effective use of resources."
Within the last few years, PricewaterhouseCoopers has added or enhanced the following programs that address the needs of working parents:
- Generous parental leave, including maternity leave that provides new moms (including adoptive mothers) 12 weeks of fully paid time off to bond with their new baby. In addition, the firm offers an additional two weeks to mothers who give birth to multiples (twins or triplets), and three weeks of paternity leave -- which remains best in class.
- Full Circle, an innovative program that allows professionals -- both women and men -- to take up to five years away from the firm to devote themselves to full-time parenting (or other dependent care) and then rejoin the firm. Participants stay connected to the firm through a "coach," and the firm provides any needed training to keep up with their credentialing so they remain professionally relevant.
- Mentor Moms, a program that pairs new moms -- or moms-to-be -- with another PwC mother who has already experienced juggling motherhood and career at the Firm, for guidance and insights as they make important career decisions. Mentor Moms stay connected with their mentees for a minimum of 20 weeks - from before the baby's due date through the new mom's first several months back at work. A guidebook was created to help introduce the program and serve as a resource.
- Flexible work arrangements -- PwC offers a variety of FWAs, including reduced hours schedules, where people work a percentage of the typical work week. FWAs are available to high-performing staff when the arrangement meets theirs and the business needs. Other options include: Flextime, Telecommuting, Job-Sharing, Compressed Work Week and Seasonal Employment.
More information on PwC's work/life flexibility and family support programs can be found at: www.pwc.com/diversity.
One hundred percent of the companies on this year's '100 Best' list offer flextime, on-site lactation and telecommuting; and 98 percent offer job-sharing and wellness programs, according to Working Mother. Nationally, just 25 percent of companies offer on-site lactation, 11 percent offer stress reduction programs (vs. 96 percent of the 100 Best), 35 percent offer health insurance for part-time workers (vs. 99 percent of the 100 Best) and 16 percent offer job-sharing (vs. 98 percent of the 100 Best).
"The Working Mother 100 Best Companies stand head and shoulders above the rest," said Carol Evans, CEO, Working Mother Media. "Firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers provide leadership where and when we need it most, furnishing a framework of support for working families during good times and bad."
In addition to the Working Mother "100 Best Companies" list, PwC has been recognized in many ways for its people initiatives. In 2007, the firm won the Catalyst Award for its commitment to women's advancement and retention. For the past two years, PwC has been ranked #1 in Training magazine's "Training Top 125" annual ranking of organizations that excel at employee training and development (the firm also ranked #2 in 2007). PwC has also consistently been named to FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For"; highly ranked on BusinessWeek's lists of "Best Internships" and "Best Places to Launch a Career"; and ranked multiple times as one of DiversityInc's "Top 50 Companies for Diversity," including the top five the last two years.
PricewaterhouseCoopers was selected for the 2009 Working Mother 100 Best Companies based on an extensive application with more than 500 questions on workforce, compensation, child care, flexibility programs, leave policies and more. It was also surveyed on the usage, availability and tracking of programs, as well as the accountability of managers who oversee them. Seven areas were measured and scored: workforce profile, benefits, women's issues and advancement, child care, flexible work, parental leave and company culture. For this year's 100 Best, particular weight was given to benefits, flexibility and parental leave.
Profiles of the 100 Best Companies, as well as national comparisons, are in the October issue of Working Mother and at www.workingmother.com/bestcompanies.
About Working Mother Media
Founded in 1979, Working Mother magazine reaches 2 million readers and is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers. Its 22-year signature initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies, is the most important benchmark for work/life practices in corporate America. Working Mother is published by Working Mother Media, which was founded in 2001. Working Mother Media includes the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), Diversity Best Practices, the WorkLife Congress, the Multicultural Women's Conference and Town Halls. Working Mother Media's mission is to champion culture change. For more information, please visit www.workingmother.com.
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