Working Mother Mag Names NEA One of Its 100 Best Companies

By Christiana Campos

Working Mother magazine has named the National Education Association one of its 100 best companies for family-friendly benefits.

More than 58 percent of NEA’s workforce of roughly 500 employees at its Washington, D.C. headquarters is female. NEA offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes a variety of paid health and dental insurance options; paid maternity and parental leave for newborns and newly adopted children; up to five days each year for parents and grandparents to participate in a child’s school activities; back-up childcare; telecommuting; and flexible work schedules.

While the Working Mother 100 Best Companies continue expanding their benefits, those at companies nationwide lag. Just 44 percent of American companies offer telecommuting (versus 100 percent of the 100 Best), 17 percent offer formal mentoring (versus 95 percent), and 37 percent offer health insurance for part-timers (versus 100 percent). By contrast, all of the 100 Best Companies offer paid maternity leave, lactation rooms, flextime, mental health consultations and elder-care resources; and 98 percent offer health screening and wellness programs.

Currently, 70 percent of mothers work and women outnumbering men in the workplace for the first time in U.S. history.

“The immense influx of women into the workforce demanded changes in workplace culture as companies strove to keep working moms’ talent and loyalty,” said Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media. “Today, we celebrate our winners’ untiring commitment to their employees through an impressive array of programs.”

“We demonstrate our appreciation for the sacrifices and contributions our employees make, in part, by working collaboratively with them to ensure benefits and work/life balance options that respond to their varied needs and concerns as a diverse group,” NEA Executive Director John Wilson said.

Companies were selected for the 2010 Working Mother 100 Best Companies based on an extensive application with more than 600 questions on workforce, compensation, child care, flexibility programs, leave policies and more.  It also surveys 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 Companies, 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 workingmother.com/bestcompanies.