Work/Life Benefits Survive Economic Hard Times; Working Mother Magazine Finds No Drop...

Work/Life Benefits Survive Economic Hard Times; Working Mother Magazine Finds No Drop in Programs, Announces 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers

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NEW YORK–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 23, 2003–Payroll may be
down but work/life benefits are up at many of America’s top companies, according
to Working Mother magazine, which today released its 18th annual list of the
"100 Best Companies for Working Mothers."

"Even these tough economic times haven’t swayed the commitment of our
forward-thinking 100 Best companies," says Working Mother Editor-in-Chief
Jill Kirschenbaum. In fact, the magazine finds that companies have increased
benefits – ranging from child-care programs to massages to take-home dinners
straight from the company cafeteria – in order to cut stress and keep employees
healthy.

What this means, says Kirschenbaum, is that "workplace cultures at the
best places to work have changed and now reflect the permanent impact of working
mothers. And companies also are responding to pressure from both men and women
in Generations X and Y, who want a balanced life. Work/life benefits are here
to stay."

Working Mother Media CEO Carol Evans, who was the publisher of Working Mother
when it began evaluating work/life programs 18 years ago, points to "the
growing competition and attention to the list as having played an important
role in the work/life revolution, one whose impact will be felt for years to
come."

This represents "a seismic shift at companies around the country,"
says Kirschenbaum, "turning work/life into an essential part of business
strategy." Even as little as four years ago, only 30 percent of companies
on the 100 Best list had a wide array of child care and flexibility options.
Now most companies do – and they’re getting stronger, with additions like afterschool,
holiday, and emergency care for kids and elders, as well as fitness programs.

In another trend: Companies are offering afterschool programs for teens and
tweens in day-care centers, as well as support groups and counseling for parents.
This is important for families who are now caring for both their growing children
and aging parents, according to Kirschenbaum. "Just as they are reaching
the peak of their careers, women are facing the biggest challenges in their
family lives. Companies that offer tween and teen programs and support for other
family members keep employees at work and on track." One notable program
sends a specialist into the home to evaluate the needs of a geriatric parent;
98 percent of the Best Companies offer some form of elder-care resource and
referral.

Kirschenbaum calls these changes "common sense on the part of the companies,"
because both employees and employers benefit. "When an employee’s personal
life runs smoothly, her productivity continues uninterrupted," she says,
pointing to such cutting-edge offerings as sending a trained caregiver to the
employee’s home when her child is sick. Adds Kirschenbaum: "These programs
markedly cut absenteeism."

The complete list of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers appears in
the October issue of Working Mother (on newsstands today and at http://www.workingmother.com).
Working Mother will honor the companies at a gala awards ceremony at the 100
Best Companies WorkLife Congress in New York September 29-October 1 (www.worklifecongress.com).

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How the 100 Best companies compare with other companies in the U.S.:
——————————————————————–
(National figures based on the Society for Human Resource Management’s
2003 Benefits Survey)
*T
—  100% of 100 Best offer flextime vs. 55% companies nationwide
—  99% of 100 Best offer an employee assistance program vs. 67% nationwide
—  98% of 100 Best offer elder-care resource and referral services vs.
20% nationwide
—  96% of 100 Best offer child-care resource and referral services vs.
18% nationwide
—  94% of 100 Best offer compressed workweeks vs. 31% nationwide
—  93% of 100 Best offer job-sharing vs. 22% nationwide
—  77% of 100 Best offer therapeutic massages vs. 11% nationwide
—  47% of 100 Best sponsor sick-child care vs. 7% nationwide
—  44% of 100 Best offer before/afterschool care vs. 4% nationwide
—  39% of 100 Best offer paid paternity leave vs. 12% nationwide
—  27% of 100 Best offer paid maternity leave beyond the short-term disability
period vs. 14% nationwide

Top 10

Working Mother gives special mention to this year’s Top 10 companies (listed
alphabetically):
—  Abbott Laboratories, IL
—  Booz Allen Hamilton, VA
—  Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, NY
—  Eli Lilly and Company, IN
—  Fannie Mae, DC
—  General Mills, MN
—  IBM Corporation, NY
—  Prudential Financial Inc., NJ
—  S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc., WI
—  Wachovia Corporation, NC

Best in Class

Using company survey scores, this year Working Mother highlights as BEST IN
CLASS those companies excelling in specific categories: Liz Claiborne, Inc.
(representation of women), Booz Allen Hamilton (advancing women), JPMorgan Chase
(total compensation), IBM Corporation (child care), S. C. Johnson & Son
(flexibility) and Wachovia Corporation (family-friendly/company culture).

Industry Leaders

Companies that shine as BEST IN INDUSTRY are:

Financial & Professional
Services     Wachovia Corporation
Health Care                          
Northwestern Memorial HealthCare
Information Technology               
IBM Corporation
Manufacturing & Retail               
S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
Media & Advertising                  
Discovery Communications Inc.
Pharmaceuticals & Biotech            
Eli Lilly and Company
Travel & Hospitality                 
Noel Group
Family Champion

Working Mother names Pernille Spiers-Lopez, president of IKEA North America
(Plymouth Meeting, PA), as this year’s FAMILY CHAMPION for helping the furniture
retailer’s employees design a life that works. Spiers-Lopez’s personal mantra
helps drive her company: "Take care of your personal issues, and the work
will follow." Spiers-Lopez has made a good company better by applying her
personal philosophy to her corporate mission. On her watch, IKEA has instituted
flextime, full benefits for part-time workers and a diversity plan, among other
policies.

100 Best List Methodology

To be named to the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers list, public or private
firms of any size and in any industry (except those in the business of providing
work/life or child-care services) complete a comprehensive application, including
questions about a company’s culture, employee population and policies on work/life
and women’s advancement. With the help of industrial research firm expert Survey
Systems, applications are validated and scored on more than 500 points of information,
including the number of work/life programs offered, the employee usage of such
programs and the representation of women throughout the company. This year,
Working Mother gave particular weight to three issues: flexible scheduling,
advancement of women and child-care options.

About Working Mother

Working Mother magazine, founded in 1979, reaches almost 3 million readers
and is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers. Its 18-year
signature initiative, 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers is a benchmark
for work/life practices in corporate America. The magazine is part of Working
Mother Media (WMM), which also owns the National Association for Female Executives
(NAFE), NAFE Magazine, and the annual 100 Best Companies WorkLife Conference.
In 2003, WMM published its first annual list of the Best Companies for Women
of Color.

2003 "100 BEST COMPANIES
FOR WORKING MOTHERS"
———————————————
(listed alphabetically)
*first year on the list
ABBOTT LABORATORIES                            
IL
ACCENTURE*                                     
NY
AFLAC INCORPORATED                             
GA
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY                      IL
AMERICA ONLINE                                 
VA
AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY                       
NY
ARNOLD WORLDWIDE                               
MA
ASTRAZENECA                                    
DE
AVENTIS PHARMACEUTICALS INC.                   
NJ
AVON PRODUCTS, INC.                            
NY
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.                          
NC
BANK ONE CORPORATION                           
IL
BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS     MA
BON SECOURS RICHMOND HEALTH SYSTEM             
VA
BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON                            
VA
BP AMERICA INCORPORATED                        
IL
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY                   
NY
BRONSON HEALTHCARE GROUP, INC.*                
MI
CALVERT GROUP, LTD.          
                  MD
CARLSON COMPANIES                              
MN
CINERGY CORP.                                  
OH
CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.                            
CA
CITIGROUP                                      
NY
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE CO.         
                 NY
COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INT’L INC.                 
NY
CORNING INC.                                   
NY
CREDIT SUISSE FIRST BOSTON, LLC*               
NY
CROSS COUNTRY TRAVCORPS                        
FL
DAIMLERCHRYSLER CORPORATION                     MI
DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP                          
NY
DEUTSCHE BANK                                  
NY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC.                  
MD
DUPONT                                         
DE
EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY           
               NY
ELI LILLY AND COMPANY                          
IN
ERNST & YOUNG                                  
NY
FANNIE MAE                                     
DC
FIRST NATIONAL BANK                            
NE
FIRST TENNESSEE NATIONAL CORPORATION           
TN
FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL                          
MA
FLEISHMAN-HILLARD INT’L COMMUNICATIONS         
MO
FREDDIE MAC                                    
VA
GANNETT CO. INC.                               
VA
GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY*         
             CT
GENERAL MILLS                                  
MN
GLAXOSMITHKLINE                                
NC/PA
HARVARD UNIVERSITY*                            
MA
HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL                        
IL
IBM CORPORATION                                
NY
IKEA*                                          
PA
INOVA HEALTH SYSTEM                            
VA
INTEL CORPORATION                              
CA
JFK MEDICAL CENTER               
              FL
JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC.*                       
NJ
JOHNSON & JOHNSON                              
NJ
JPMORGAN CHASE                                 
NY
KING’S DAUGHTERS MEDICAL CENTER*               
KY
KPMG LLP                          
             NJ
KRAFT FOODS INC.                               
IL
LASALLE BANK CORPORATION*                      
IL
LEGO SYSTEMS INC.*                             
CT
LINCOLN FINANCIAL GROUP                        
PA
LIZ CLAIBORNE, INC.                
            NJ
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC.                       
NJ
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC.                   
MD
MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL                       
NY
MBNA AMERICA BANK, N.A.                        
DE
METLIFE, INC.                       
           NY
MICROSOFT CORPORATION*                         
WA
MITRE CORPORATION*                             
MA/VA
MORGAN STANLEY                                 
NY
NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY                
NY
NOEL GROUP*                       
             WI
NORTHERN TRUST CORPORATION                     
IL
NORTHWESTERN MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE               
IL
NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS CORP.                 
NJ
PATAGONIA, INC.                                
CA
PEARSON EDUCATION                  
            NJ
PITT COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL*                 
NC
PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP                   
PA
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP                     
NY
PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL GROUP                      
IA
PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL INC.           
           NJ
REPUBLIC BANCORP INC.                          
MI
SALLIE MAE*                                    
VA
S. C. JOHNSON & SON, INC.                      
WI
SCHERING-PLOUGH CORPORATION                    
NJ
ST. MARY’S MEDICAL CENTER*           
          WV
TARGET CORPORATION                             
MN
TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC.                         
TX
THOMSON WEST                                   
MN
TIAA-CREF                                      
NY
UBS INVESTMENT BANK*                  
         CT
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CORPORATION             
NE
USAA                                           
TX
VERIZON WIRELESS                               
NJ
WACHOVIA CORPORATION                           
NC
WELLS FARGO & COMPANY                  
        CA
WYETH                                          
NJ
ZURICH NORTH AMERICA                           
IL

Note: A photo is available at URL: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/photo.cgi?pw.092303/bb2

–30–KF/ny*

CONTACT:
Working Mother Media, New York
Meryl Weinsaft, 212-351-6456/917-974-0022

Work/Life Benefits Survive Economic Hard Times; Working Mother Magazine Finds No Drop in Programs, Announces 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers