Recently, the magazine Working Mothers used five criteria as the basis for its judgements in selecting the top 100 companies for working mothers: flexibility, leave time for new parents, child care, elder care and the number of women occupying top slots in the company. According to Working Mother's Magazine the 10 companies that best satisfied its five criteria for working mothers were:
Bon Secours Richmond Health System
Ernst & Young LLP
HSBC USA Inc.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Principal Financial Group
S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.
For many mothers who have reached the point in their job or career where they have had enough of a non-family-friendly atmosphere, the reality of going to one of these companies is a dream come true. To some success is being at one of these top 10 companies or possibly the top 100. But will they be happy if they get there? Happiness will eventually turn out to be a 'need to do what you love and love what you do' scenario at these companies. Is happiness just being at a company that knows the meaning of family-friendly and how to accommodate those needs? Yes and No. It is more about the basic need of being recognized for hard work and smart work, and being given an opportunity to take time out in their careers or being offered flexible working arrangements as a reward. While on the other hand, it is also about being strong enough personally to leave a bad situation behind.
The first step to obtaining a position and maintaining a position in these companies.
Clearly recognize that being in a family-friendly company and environment is an advance in your career.
Make a commitment to advance your career.
Be prepared to pay the dues required to become the kind of trustworthy, motivated & focused professional that commands the highest salaries and respect in your field.
Meet with a wide range of people working in the field, positions, and/or company you want to enter. Do this by seeking out professional associations, seminars, conferences, job fairs and trade shows where large numbers of top professionals, especially those who are at these companies, will be in attendance.
Earn the trust of those in decision-making positions. One way to do this is to work your way up through the ranks of a sister company. The other is to make a move to a position in one of those family-friendly companies that you believe would make a good starting point.
The employment market today still remains highly competitive and professional women will migrate between businesses at regular intervals. In such an environment, working mothers have to be equipped to advance their broad personal goals by being proactive, adaptive and agile in their career management. Working moms need to be equipped with family and career strategies that they can execute for success.
What you need:
An executable strategy.
If your company is not on the top 100 list or no where near it, and you want to move to one that is, then start the active momentum to do so.
Get in as a consultant or an employee
This group of companies is going to introduce options for hiring proven consultant talent sometimes for less money and time without having to pay substantial benefits initially. There is a trend showing great popularity in some of these companies that house consultants for client needs.
Regardless of your professional discipline, you need to learn how to sell yourself differently. You need to show that you can not only produce for the company, but produce for clients regardless of your parenting requirements (at least in the short term).
This, coupled with already fierce competition for jobs at companies that advance women, shows even more need for all employees to position themselves with a career strategy that separates them from the competition. A strategy that communicates the value differentiator against a diverse pool of talent.
What traits will make you stand out in these companies:
Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint your value differentiators. Those traits and skills that make you different and stand out in the minds of others.
The service you provide extends past the final results or project outcome. It is more about the process getting there and the feeling people remember with you, and the story they tell to others.
Keep your eye on the goal
These companies have the advantage because they have consistently proven to women in their midst that they care. If your goal is to be at a company that provides this type of atmosphere keep your eye on that goal.