Working Mother magazine has included fifteen consulting firms in its ‘100 Best Companies’ list for parents in the United States.
Since 1985 Working Mother annually conducts research into the career and financial support organisations provide to parents. The researchers look into a range of HR policies, including leave policies, workforce representation, benefits, child care, advancement programmes, flexibility policies and gender diversity in recruitment. Working Mother not only surveys the availability, usage and tracking of programmes, but also the accountability of managers who oversee them. The 100 best performing organisations are included in the so-called ‘100 Best Companies for Working Mothers’ list.
An analysis of the trends and scores over time reveals that companies in recent years have made significant strides in facilitating for the needs of parents. This year’s edition shows that the bar has been raised higher than ever when it comes to among others paid family leave, paid sick days, wage equality, flexibility, affordable child care and women’s advancement. Based on the average of the top 100 performers, new moms get an average of eight weeks of fully paid maternity leave, three quarters of employees use flextime, and almost half of all new hires last year were women, just to name a few examples.
The 2015 edition of the ‘100 Best Companies for Working Mothers’ includes several big names in business, including American Express, Barclays, Citi, Colgate-Palmolive, GE, Goldman Sachs, HP, Lego, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. Among the 100 outstanding workplaces for parents are also fifteen consulting firms.
For many of the consultancies, the recognition builds on years of strong focus on diversity, parental support and female support. McKinsey’s inclusion on the list is based on among others the firm’s growing women’s network, stepped up research on female advancement and expanded mentoring for women. Also McKinsey’s initiative to recruit female alumni of the firm for senior roles has been earmarked as a differentiator.
Rival Boston Consulting Group is praised for its strong female consulting representation, innovative leave programmes—including for adoption and paternity—and generous health-care programmes. Working Mother also paid particular attention to BCG’s women’s network. The magazine notes that “Growing at a rapid clip, the U.S. offices of BCG have (in the past five years) witnessed a 70% increase in the number of female consultants they employ. To serve the needs of this demographic, the firm offers a multifaceted women’s network, six annual professional conferences for women, and a working mothers’ group.”
Bain & Company, named for the eighth year in a row on Working Mother 100 Best Companies, received compliments from the jury for its women-friendly recruitment policy, the high percentage of female partners have taken advantage of flex programmes, and the “excellent part-time opportunities” at the consultancy, while also achieving important promotions and milestones. Bain’s ‘Women at Bain’ platform, a strategic initiative focused on making the firm the employer of choice for the best female business talent in the world, also received much praise.
A.T. Kearney stands out for its flexible schedules and career paths, while last year management added a formal programme that facilitates discussions between colleagues about how, when and where they prefer to work—encouraging groups to adopt mutually desirable arrangements for parents. Benefits too are well cared for – primary caregivers who give birth or adopt a child get two to 10 fully paid weeks off and may return to work on a reduced schedule or stay home for the rest of the year at 20% salary (with full benefits).
The Big Four – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – have similar to the strategy consultancies become household names in Working Mother’s annual list, with accounting & consulting competitors BDO and Grant Thornton also featuring in this year’s edition. Other consultancies included are Accenture, The Advisory Board Company (a research and advisory firm with 3,400 employees in 12 offices on three continents), US public sector giant Booz Allen Hamilton, technology giant IBM and McGladrey.