Campus & Community

Working Mother votes Harvard good place for women

3 min read

For the second year in a row, Working Mother magazine has chosen Harvard as one of the 100 best places to work for women who juggle a career with raising children. What’s more, Harvard is the only university recognized this year and one of only three Massachusetts employers chosen for the distinction.

“I’m delighted that Harvard is once again being recognized as one of the nation’s 100 best places to work for working mothers,” said Karen Davis, acting associate vice president for human resources. “We are extremely proud to be receiving this award for the second year in a row and proud that our many work/life and benefits programs compare so favorably to those offered by other employers throughout the country.”

The award, Davis said, recognizes Harvard’s array of flexible scheduling, family and parental leave, and child-care options, including scholarships to defray the costs of day care. In addition, she added, Harvard offers full medical benefits to employees who work half time or more and tuition assistance programs that enable employees to continue their education while working at Harvard.

Working Mother rates companies on six qualities: flexibility; representation of women, particularly in upper management; child care; advancement of women; family-friendly corporate culture; and leave for new parents. This year, according to the magazine, editors gave particular weight to three issues: flexible scheduling, advancement of women, and child-care options.

“It’s an enormous responsibility to care for a family and succeed at a job, and we’re thrilled to see the serious commitment of smart companies to help their employees,” said Carol Evans, CEO of Working Mother Media, which publishes Working Mother.

Said Working Mother editor-in-chief Susan Lapinski, “Companies know that healthy employees mean a healthy bottom line. Wellness programs cut absenteeism, increase productivity, and build loyalty.

At Harvard, women comprise 54 percent of the University’s work force; more compellingly, 59 percent of middle managers and 46 percent of directors and above are women. Women are well represented in the University’s highest tiers as well: Harvard has three female deans, three in five vice presidents are women, and one-third of the 37 people on the University’s governing boards are women. Of nonfaculty employees in the top 20 percent pay bracket, almost half are female.

To be named to the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers list, employers have to 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.