These employers’ support for women and family goes beyond ‘work-life balance’

February 19, 2020, 1:03 PM UTC

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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! M.M. LaFleur will outfit women running for office, Indian women earn equal rights in the military, and Fortune’s list of the Best Companies to Work For is live. Have a wonderful Wednesday. 

– Workplace winners. Fortune published our 2020 rundown of the 100 Best Companies to Work For this week. The list is an annual reader favorite, and it’s clear why: the culture of our workplace is such an essential factor in whether we thrive in our careers—yet it’s one of the most challenging things for job seekers to suss out during the interview process.

Culture is also, no surprise, a difficult thing to quantify. Here’s a look at the attempt by our partners, people analytics firm Great Place to Work, to get their arms around the nebulous idea:

The bulk of the scores assigned to participating companies (businesses must opt-in to be considered) is based on a survey given to their employees. GPTW reports that “85% of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do… The remaining pieces we consider include an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders.” (You can read the full methodology here.)

Reading through the descriptions of the top scorers, it’s clear that being a Great Place for women and working families is a priority—manifesting not just in cheery statements about “work-life balance,” but in concrete benefits and policies. Here are a few highlights from our top 10:

No. 1, Hilton: “In the last year, Hilton extended its parental leave policy, guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid time off for new mothers, and four for fathers and adoptive parents. The company also partnered with the startup Milk Stork, enabling team members to easily ship or carry breast milk when traveling for work, for free.”

No. 4, Cisco: “When employees add a baby to the family, the decision about how much paid time off they receive is based on whether they are the main or supporting parent caregiver, not their gender. And new grandparents get up to three days off to help out too.”

No. 9, Amex: “Employees at the global payments giant laud the company’s commitment to career development programs—one epitomized by American Express’s Colleague Value Proposition initiative, which prioritizes a flexible, family-friendly work environment and aims to help employees diversify their skills with an eye toward progressing their careers.”

No. 10, Kimpton: “The boutique hotel and restaurant group launched several inclusive hiring initiatives in 2019, working with organizations like Trans Can Work and the Mom Project, which helps mothers return to the workforce.”

If you or someone you know is thinking about making a move in 2020, I encourage you to check out the list. I hope it helps make the often overwhelming process of finding the perfect new gig just a little bit easier.

Kristen Bellstrom

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe


- The Maine event. When did it all change for Susan Collins? The Maine senator once known as a bipartisan moderate has bet her legacy on President Trump. Since 2015, her approval rating has fallen from 78% to 42%; her constituents have grown more and more confrontational. Rebecca Traister examines Collins's rural Maine roots—still part of her appeal to some voters—and where she's headed as she seeks a fifth term: The Cut

- Dress for success. One of the many challenges facing women running for office? Accessing a new wardrobe of politics-appropriate clothing. The workwear brand M.M. LaFleur announced that it will loan clothes to women running for elected office at any level. "We never purport that clothes move the needle on female representation, but we want to do our part to make things a tiny bit easier," the company, founded by Sarah LaFleur and Miyako Nakamura, said. Biz Journals

- Underfunding endo. In the past half-decade, awareness has grown about endometriosis as women started speaking out about the condition and its pain on social media. But government funding for the disease has been slashed since 2016, to $6 million this year from $10 million four years ago. That amounts to $1 per patient, and makes endometriosis No. 276 in funding out of 288 conditions monitored by the National Institutes of Health. Cosmopolitan

- Trump card. Oracle, led by CEO Safra Catz, is facing an employee uprising over founder Larry Ellison's planned re-election fundraiser for President Trump. More than 2,000 employees have signed a petition asking Ellison to cancel the event, saying that it "damages our company culture as well as our relationships with partners and customers." Catz has been involved with the Trump administration as well; she served on the president's 2016 transition team. CNBC

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Jennifer Dulski, former head of groups and community at Facebook, joins the WW board of directors


- Fight for equal rights. India's Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the government must grant permanent commission and command positions to female officers. The ruling in favor of equal rights in the military means that women will now be eligible for the same promotions, ranks, benefits, and pensions as their male peers. The Indian government had argued that women "were not physically and physiologically suitable to hold permanent commissions" because of pregnancy, motherhood, and domestic obligations. CNN

- Meaning behind the mix-up. After the incident in which British media mixed up three black female MPs, Labour MP Dawn Butler talks to the Guardian about the racism she has experienced in Parliament. Butler, who is a candidate for Labour deputy leader and would be the first black person in a leadership role, says she is mistaken for other black female colleagues "at least once a week." "If you haven’t got anybody in the room who can identify Dawn Butler as different from Marsha de Cordova, then you need to have somebody in the room who can," she says. "It was not about making a mistake, it is about making an effort.” Guardian

- Before #MeToo. As the jury deliberates on Harvey Weinstein's sentence, The Cut talks to Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, the woman who secretly taped Weinstein seemingly admitting to having assaulted her for the NYPD in 2015. Battilana Gutierrez compares her own experience to the defense team's strategy of pointing to Weinstein's consensual encounters and interactions with his accusers: "I don’t know if you heard it from the recordings, but he’s very good at manipulating people." The Cut


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