Yale again named a ‘Best Company’ by Working Mother magazine

August 17, 2012

Yale University has again been selected by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies” in the nation. Working Mother’s “Best Companies” initiative, now in its 27th year, recognizes organizations for their leadership in creating family-friendly benefits and programs.

“For the third consecutive year, Yale has received national recognition as one of Working Mother magazine’s ‘100 Best Companies,’” said President Richard C. Levin.  “We are thrilled to have this external recognition once again, and we value greatly the flexible and family-friendly work environment that the University has created over time. This flexible and family-friendly culture on our campus enables us to attract and retain top talent at all levels of the University.”

Yale received its highest scores for the representation of women in its workforce last year, its work-life programs, paid time-off policies, child care programs, access to comprehensive healthcare, and benefits that are unique to Yale, such as the scholarship for sons and daughters and the homebuyers program. All of these, the magazine noted, recognize that women are faced with competing demands, and need support and understanding to manage their personal and professional responsibilities.

The magazine annually recognizes organizations that make it possible for women to advance in their workplaces. Women who work at Yale make up 47% of its senior management, and 57% of all managers. Last year, 268 women were promoted into management; 534 received training through the program Managing at Yale – comprising 69% of attendees. In addition to new female leadership appointments in the library and public affairs and communications, the two most recently appointed officers of the University are women.

Yale Health’s on-campus facility — which serves over 36,000 employees, families, and students — was one of the important factors contributing to the University’s winning score, according to Working Mother. This praise echoes that of The National Committee for Quality Assurance, which in 2011 recognized the health facility as a model of 21st-century primary care, awarding it a perfect score for its accomplishments as a Patient-Centered Medical Home due to the quality of attention individuals received from their care providers and the relationships built throughout the Yale system. The health center offers extended hours; early-morning pediatric consultations, so parents can plan arrangements at work and school; convenient online appointment scheduling; and confidential online communication with care providers.

Other benefits that helped Yale make the grade:

  • Homebuyers Program: This distinctive program, established in 1994, provides employees with up to $30,000 to help them purchase homes in designated New Haven neighborhoods. To date, 1,013 employees have purchased homes using this program; 17 women used the benefit in 2011 alone.
  • The Scholarship for Sons and Daughters: This benefit provides eligible employees up to $15,200 annually for children at any accredited undergraduate college. In 2011, Yale spent over $11 million on the scholarship, with 1,000 employees receiving 2,143 scholarships for their children.
  • Counseling & Support Services: Yale now provides free legal services through the Counseling & Support Services program. The University also offers extensive, confidential counseling sessions with mental health specialists, work-life and stress management support, and adoption counseling, and it maintains a library of eldercare and childcare resources for employees and their families.
  • Retirement plans and more: Employees have a choice of three generous retirement plans (pension, defined contribution with 5% maximum match, and tax-deferred 403B savings), and can take advantage of flexible spending accounts, and free MEDEX Travel (emergency medical and assistance when traveling).
  • On-site learning: Yale provides learning opportunities for continued professional education. Courses in management, technology, and career development are offered at the on-site Learning Center. Almost 3,000 employees attended classes in 2011; two thirds were women. All employees and spouses may audit most Yale College and Graduate School courses for free, with the permission of their supervisor and the course instructor.
  • Tuiton Reimbursement & Women’s Scholarships: Yale provides tuition assistance to staff members who are earning a degree or taking work-related courses at other institutions. The University spent over $1 million on tuition reimbursement for 423 employees in 2011. Employees were offered up to $5,250/year, depending on their eligibility and service. Also, the Yale Women’s Organization (YUWO) awarded five scholarships to women employees who sought to further their education in 2011; all told, YUWO has awarded 284 scholarships over the years.
  • Physical wellness programs: While programs at the Yale Health Center and Payne Whitney Gym are well utilized in general, the WorkLife program has also been offering stress-reduction programs in outlying areas of the campus for the convenience of employees. Weekly Zumba classes were brought to the Science Park area. An early-morning yoga series is hosted at the Office of International Students and Scholars, and there is a lunchtime yoga class in the Human Resources building. At West Campus, a new gym was added for employees — equipped with fitness machines, weights, and locker rooms.

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