Survey Rates Apple No. 1 in Perks for Mothers : Firm Cited for Superior Pay, Benefits Package and On-Site Child-Care Center

Times Staff Writer

IBM grants new mothers leaves of up to three years with benefits. Media giant Gannett offers $2,500 in adoption aid. SAS Institute, a computer software developer in Cary, N.C., runs a free on-site child-care center, according to a survey of the best companies for working mothers released Tuesday.

But the clean diaper award--if there were such a thing--would go to Apple Computer, the Cupertino-based computer manufacturer. The fourth annual survey by Working Mother magazine put Apple Computer at the top of a list of 60 pace-setting companies based on pay, advancement opportunity, benefits and child-care support.

Although the roster includes some extraordinary policies, mommy-friendly companies are still unusual in the American workplace, the magazine’s editor said.


“We see these 60 companies as role models,” said Judsen Culbreth, editor of Working Mother, a New York-based publication with a circulation of 460,000. “They have caught on to the idea that to be good to working parents is to gain a competitive edge.”

Less than 1% of U.S. corporations operate or support child-care centers, according to the article in the October issue written by Milton Moskowitz, co-author of the book “The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” Some 65% of mothers already work outside the home, and by 2000 84% of U.S. women of child-bearing age will be working, the Labor Department estimates.

$500 at Birth

Apple Computer won the top slot because of its superior pay and benefits package, high percentage of female professionals among its nearly 8,000 employees and an on-site child-care center that has been “a smash hit with parents.” Among other benefits, Apple gives $500 every time a employee brings a future computer whiz home from the hospital.

“This has been a big year for this,” Moskowitz said in a telephone interview. “Every big company in America seems to be attuned to this issue because they’re being pressured by their employees.”

At AT&T;, for example, contract negotiations this year focused on family-care benefits, and the recently signed contracts with two unions representing more than half of the company’s workers included a $5-million fund for child care and other family-related benefits, he said.

But Cindia Cameron, a national organizer for the group 9 to 5, the National Assn. of Working Women, said members often complain that policies that look good on paper are not applied uniformly across the work force.


“We find there is a lot of difference between what’s offered to professional women--women who are harder to replace--than to clerical workers,” she said.

California is home to eight of the companies on the magazine’s list “because some of them tend to be very high tech,” Culbreth said.

“I would say it’s your forward-thinking companies,” she said. “The same company that introduces new products and is in touch with the marketplace is more likely to be in touch with the labor force.”

Culbreth admitted that Working Mother magazine probably would not make its own list partly because it is in “a period of corporate transition.” Time Inc. is selling its 50% stake in the publication to partner Lang Communications.

“We might make it pretty soon,” Culbreth said.

THE BEST COMPANIES FOR WORKING MOTHERS Company rankings are based on the following criteria: pay scales (compared to the competition), opportunities for advancement, support for child care (financial, referrals and/or actual care) and benefits (maternity leave, parental leave, adoption aid, flextime, part-time work, job sharing and support for care of the elderly).

The National Top 10 Company, City: Business Apple Computer, Cupertino: A leading maker of personal computers Beth Israel Hospital, Boston: Teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School Du Pont, Wilmington, Del.: Largest U.S. chemical company Fel-Pro, Skokie, Ill.: Makes gaskets, sealing products and specialized lubricants Hoffman-La Roche, Nutley, N.J.: Maker of prescription drugs, vitamins and diagnostic products IBM, Armonk, N.Y.: World’s largest computer manufacturer Merck, Rahway, N.J.: Largest U.S. maker of prescription drugs Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco: Nation’s 12th-largest law firm SAS Institute, Cary, N.C.: Produces computer software products Syntex, Palo Alto: Makes prescription drugs, diagnostic systems and veterinary products California companies that made the list


Company, City: Business Apple Computer, Cupertino: A leading maker of personal computers Arco, Los Angeles: Oil company Genentech, South San Francisco: Genetically engineered drugs G. T. Water Products, Moorpark: Makes drain-cleaning devices for plumbing industry Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto: Makes computers and electronic devices Lost Arrow, Ventura: Makes clothes, mountain-climbing and outdoor gear under Patagonia label Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco: Nation’s 12th-largest law firm Syntex, Palo Alto: Makes prescription drugs, diagnostic systems and veterinary products Source: Working Mother magazine


Here are the rest of the 1989 roster of the 60 best companies for working mothers published in the October issue of Working Mother magazine. The companies are listed alphabetically.

Aetna Life & Casualty, Hartford, Conn.

America West Airlines, Phoenix

Amer. Bankers Ins. Grp., Miami

American Express, New York

AT&T;, New York

Arthur Andersen, Chicago

Arco, Los Angeles

Baptist Hospital, Miami

Barrios Technology, Houston

Campbell Soup, Camden, N.J.

Champion Intl., Stamford, Conn.

Corning, Corning N.Y.

Digital Equipment, Maynard, Mass.

Dominion Bankshares, Roanoke, Va.

Dow Chemical, Midland, Mich.

Du Pont, Wilmington, Del.

Eastman Kodak, Rochester, N.Y.

First Atlanta, Atlanta

Gannett, Washington

General Mills, Minneapolis

Grieco Bros., Lawrence, Mass.

Group 243, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, Mo.

Hechinger, Landover, Md.

Herman Miller, Zeeland, Mich.

Hewitt Associates, Lincolnshire, Ill.

Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston

Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J.

S. C. Johnson & Sons, Racine, Wis.

Lancaster Laboratories, Lancaster, Pa.

Leo Burnett, Chicago

Lincoln National, Ft. Wayne, Ind.

3M, St. Paul, Minn.

Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco

NCNB, Charlotte, N.C.

Nordstrom, Seattle

Official Airline Guides, Oak Brook, Ill.

Pitney Bowes, Stamford, Conn.

Polaroid, Cambridge, Mass.

Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati

Steelcase, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Stride Rite, Cambridge, Mass.

Time-Warner, New York

Trammell Crow, Dallas

Unum Life Insurance, Portland, Me.

US West, Englewood, Colo.

Warner-Lambert, Morris Plains, N.J.

Xerox, Stamford, Conn.

Source: Working Mother magazine