More and more children are being raised in U.S. households with both parents working full time. In 2019, Among married-couple families, 49.4 percent of families had both parents employed. And gender norms are changing too: 34 million American households are headed by women, with mothers as the breadwinner in 6 million families with children under the age of 18. However, many of these working moms are not provided the support necessary to be successful when it comes to balancing their family and career.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States is the only OECD country that does not offer paid parental leave on a national basis. U.S. employees must rely on their companies and individual state laws to advocate for working moms and dads. States like California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York have already enacted paid family leave laws.
There are many clear advantages to paid parental leave, including an increase in employee morale, productivity and retention. This also helps with overall health for mother and baby. Companies like AbbVie and IBM — and smaller employers like ConsumerTrack Inc. — have stressed the importance of family by focusing their efforts on providing a better environment for working parents to thrive.
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Every year, Working Mother, a magazine for working moms, recognizes 100 U.S. companies for their push toward inclusion, parental leave, work flexibility and child care. Many of the employers listed have unique benefits to help working mothers cater to their families while having a successful career.
Last updated: March 23, 2021
Based in North Chicago, Illinois, the biopharmaceutical company, AbbVie, offers its 14,618 employees 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, phase-back after paternal leave, and sick child care. Employees are given flexibility to balance their work and home life, such as starting earlier in the day, taking more breaks, or picking up work later at night.
“This approach has helped me remain a top producer on the team, employee Sandra Gomez, an HR consultant, told Working Mother.
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2. Astellas Pharma US
Based in Northbrook, Illinois, the multinational pharmaceutical company, Astellas Pharma US, offers its 2,782 employees 4 weeks of paid gender-neutral leave, phase back after paternal leave and sick child care. It even has been willing to change policies to accommodate the unique needs of some parents, such as expanding its military leave policy from 2 to 4 weeks during the pandemic.
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3. Bank of America
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, the investment bank and financial services company, Bank of America, offers its 171,651 employees offers 16 weeks of paid gender-neutral leave and sick child care. The company has simplified the childcare process by allowing parents to receive reimbursement of up to $100/day for providing their own backup childcare.
Based in New York, New York, Deloitte, which provides a range of financial and tax services such as audit assurance, consulting, risk and financial advisory, risk management, and more, offers its 68,517 employees 16 weeks of paid gender neutral leave and 8 additional weeks of leave for birth mothers. It also offers phase-back after paternal leave and sick childcare. It’s known for its generous benefits and flexible policies for parents.
5. Ernst & Young LLP
Based in New York, Ernst & Young LLP, which provides consulting, assurance, tax and transaction services, offers its 51,324 employees 16 weeks of paid gender-neutral leave and an additional two weeks for birth mothers. It also offers phase-back after paternal leave and sick childcare. In addition to its generous leave, it is known for finding unique ways to support parents through the challenges of finding a work life balance, such as caregiver coaching calls.
6. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Based in San Francisco, this Federal reserve bank offers its 1,721 employees 12 weeks of gender neutral maternity leave and an additional 12 weeks for birth mothers. It also offers phase-back after paternal leave and sick childcare. Employees report receiving “empathy and flexibility” from leadership, allowing them to focus on their families first when necessary.
Based in Armonk, New York, the computer and research company, IBM, offers its more than 352,000 employees 12 weeks of paid gender neutral leave and an additional 12 weeks for birth mothers, in the U.S. only. It also offers phase-back after paternal leave and sick childcare. In addition to generous leave, the company created an IBM Work from Home Pledge, guidelines to help employees support each other and put family first.
8. Johnson & Johnson
Based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest healthcare and pharmaceutical company in the world, offers its over 46,742 employees 8 weeks of paid gender neutral leave and an additional 6 weeks for birth mothers. It also offers phase-back after paternal leave and sick childcare. This includes parents who are adopting children as well as birth parents. They also recently added a medical personnel leave policy during the pandemic for employees who wanted to volunteer for COVID-19 related work.
9. L’Oréal USA
The beauty company L’Oréal USA, based in New York, prides itself on implementing flexible benefit options. Its 10,581 employees can enjoy 8 weeks of paid gender neutral leave, and an additional 8 weeks of leave for birth mothers. The company has prioritized health, social protection, work-life balance and workplace well being since 2013. They also support employees who are in military reserves, holding their jobs if they are called to duty.
Based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, the consumer goods company, Unilever, offers its 7,282 employees 8 weeks of paid gender neutral leave and an additional 8 weeks for birth mothers. It also offers phase-back after paternal leave and sick childcare. They helped parents adapt to working from home in the pandemic by supplying them with the necessary technology and allowing flexibility in work schedules.
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Alexandria Bova contributed to the reporting for this article.