High five: Yale named among Working Mother magazine’s '100 Best Companies' for the 5th consecutive year

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For the fifth year in a row, Yale University has been selected by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies” in the nation. It is the only university on this year’s list.

The magazine’s “Best Companies” initiative, now in its 29th year, recognizes organizations for outstanding leadership in establishing policies, programs, and environments that support working parents.   

“We are thrilled that Yale has been recognized for the fifth year in a row as one of Working Mother magazine’s ‘100 Best Companies,’” says President Salovey. “This milestone recognition highlights the family-friendly workplace that we continue to value, one that allows us to attract and retain top talent at all levels of the university. For example, we are proud that 56% of all Yale managers are women. At the same time, we must strive to continue to make improvements. There is always more Yale can do to create an environment in which employees thrive, making our mission of research and education possible.”

Yale received its highest scores for access to benefits both comprehensive and unique, such as the Scholarship for Sons and Daughters, Homebuyers Program, and Tuition Reimbursement; for child care resources; the representation of women in its workforce; paid time-off and leave policies; work-life programs, particularly the university’s health and wellness programs, and its use of workplace surveys for employee feedback. All of these, the magazine noted, are a powerful reminder of how great employers can and do create supportive workplaces for their employees.

“We are pleased to be selected for the fifth consecutive year by Working Mother magazine as one of the best organizations in the nation for working mothers,” says Mike Peel, vice-president of human resources and administration. “We realize how challenging it is for all of us to balance our work and personal/family demands, and we are working hard to make the Yale environment even more flexible and supportive.”

Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media, says,” We are excited to honor the U.S. companies that put words into action and build family-friendly cultures on the foundation of thoughtful policies and effective programs. Women now make up 50% of our workforce. We need to make sure they have the support to be outstanding moms as well as great employees.”

Yale’s benefits, its healthcare coverage, and the programs it offers topped the list of factors that contributed to the university’s winning score, according to Working Mother. Yale Health is the preferred healthcare provider for 75% of all employees, and offers full family coverage. Employees receive 24-hour comprehensive care — preventative, specialty, and emergency — and service integration with nationally ranked Yale-New Haven Hospital and Smilow Cancer Center. Other health insurance providers, such as Aetna, are available for employees who do not participate in Yale Health.

Helping working mothers to solve child care issues is another important criterion for making it onto Working Mother’s top 100 list. In 2013, Yale opened its sixth on-site child care center, which added 24 infant-toddler spaces for Yale parents where the need was the greatest. This child care center joined the five currently on-site, which are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. In addition, continuing to address parental needs, Yale also has a generous adoption subsidy of $10,000.

The magazine annually recognizes organizations that make it possible for women to advance in their workplaces. In the highest echelon at Yale, 5 of its 10 officers are women, as are the deans of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Schools of Engineering & Applied Science and Nursing. Of the University’s eight affinity groups — Yale African-American Affinity group; Yale LGBTQ affinity group; Asian Network @Yale; Yale Latino Networking Group; Yale Veterans Network, Working Women’s Network, Future Leaders of Yale and Women in IT — 13 of the 16 co-chairs are women.

New in 2013 was the launch of the Working Women’s Network (WWN) and Women in IT (WIT). These two women’s groups joined the 12-year-old Women Faculty Forum in supporting and developing women at Yale.

Working Mother also gave Yale points for its work-life and health and wellness programs. Yale’s WorkLife Program has been available for employees for over 13 years. Manager Susan Abramson provides personal consultations and bimonthly childcare information sessions. In addition, there are monthly workshops focusing on a variety of topics including caregiving, flexible scheduling, parenting, healthy eating, and clutter clearing. A monthly e-mail is sent university-wide to promote these workshops along with related resources and programs at Yale.     

Elder care is also an area that Working Mother magazine includes in its annual application. Yale’s elder care support programs were enhanced this past January, when the university announced that through its Employee Assistance Program (EAP, provided by Magellan Behavior Health), employees can arrange a free, three-hour, in-home assessment for their aging parents. Continued support is coordinated through EAP. Workshops on caregiving and elder care offered include: “Caregivers Workshop, Caring and Sharing”; “Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease”; “Communicating with Aging Relatives” and “Eldercare Resources for Yale Staff and Faculty.”

Being Well at Yale, the employee wellness program begun in 2012, is now firmly established in engaging and supporting Yale employees in the pursuit of healthier lifestyles. The program spearheads university-wide physical activity challenges: employees form teams and encourage one another through friendly competition to exercise over an eight-week period. Individuals track their exercise hours and steps on an interactive-themed website that offers additional health tips and motivation. To keep it fun and exciting, winning teams recording the highest activity received prizes, like wireless physical activity trackers and bragging rights.

Offering weight-loss support to employees, Weight Watchers at Work is available in three locations on campus. To help more employees take charge of their health, Being Well at Yale boosted participation in the program by offering a partial reimbursement incentive to participants.

The full profiles of the 100 Best Companies are available online and in the October issue of Working Mother magazine.

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