Yale University has again been selected by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies” in the nation. For over 25 years, Working Mother magazine’s “Best Companies” initiative has recognized organizations that support working mothers by providing family-friendly benefits and programs.
“We are delighted to again be selected by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers,’” says Mike Peel, vice president for Human Resources and Administration. “While we have made great progress in recent years, we recognize the challenging professional and personal lives that our faculty and staff members lead, and are working to bring innovative tools and solutions to help them better juggle their responsibilities at work and at home.”
Yale received its top score from Working Mother magazine due to the high representation of women in its workforce, earning high marks for the University’s child care, benefits and work-life programs — all of which recognize that because women juggle competing demands, they need support and understanding to manage their personal and professional responsibilities.
"Working Mother is proud to welcome Yale University back to the 100 Best Companies list for the second year," said Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media. "As one of the world's top universities, Yale is pioneering programs including its healthcare program, which is among the best in the country. Yale Health gives employees full family coverage and access to top-notch facilities that cater to parents with early-morning pediatric consultations, discounts and programs on childbirth, newborn care and 24-hour on-site facilities to minimize time out of the office."
Making it possible for women to play a vital role in the University
Working Mother magazine annually recognizes organizations such as Yale, which have been instrumental in championing the advancement of women. Women comprise 50% of executives, 46% of senior management and 57% of all Yale managers. At the highest level, four of the nine officers are women. Last year, 214 women were promoted into management positions and 172 were trained through the management program, Managing at Yale – comprising 75% of all attendees.
In 2010, over 4,588 employees took advantage of the 469 classes in management, technology and career development offered at the on-site Learning Center. Exempt employees and spouses accepted into qualifying Yale Graduate School (degree or non-degree) and Yale College programs are eligible for reduced tuition. All employees and spouses may audit most Yale College and Graduate School courses for free, with supervisor and course instructor permission.
Easing the real life demands of home and work
Yale’s support for working families has grown significantly over the years. The WorkLife Program provides information or advice not only for working parents, but also for staff and faculty who need help balancing their personal and professional demands.
To reduce the stress that working mothers feel at the beginning (day care drop-off) and the end of the day (day care pick-up), Yale offers access to five quality, on-site child care centers (for children ages 6-weeks through kindergarten); all are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Because these centers are close to work, parents can visit frequently or respond quickly to a child’s need or in an emergency.
In addition to area day care options, the WorkLife Program provides back-up child care resources and 40 hours of subsidized back-up child care per fiscal year, a free online babysitting service, an online child care directory, a listserve for parents, and dedicated lactation rooms. It hosts many free sessions designed to help staff and faculty find balance, including popular lunchtime and early-morning yoga classes and summer camp information sessions. New in 2010, the University expanded support for employees seeking counseling services for their families – doubling the number of confidential sessions with mental health specialists, enhancing work-life and stress management support, adding adoption counseling, and increasing eldercare and child care resources and referral.
Other programs designed to encourage work-life balance and family wellness include: summer camps for children; memberships to the Payne Whitney Gym and recreational facilities, which include the Outdoor Education Center in East Lyme; free lending privileges at the world’s second largest academic library; free concerts at the School of Music; discount tickets at the School of Drama/Repertory Theatre; free art exhibits and access to camps and birthday party services at the Peabody Museum of Natural History; and free and discounted family tickets to hockey and basketball games.
Offering benefits that target health, wellness and career development
For years, staff and faculty at Yale have had access to a number of longstanding benefits that include generous paid-time-off. In 2010, the University built a new, state-of-the-art facility for Yale Health, the healthcare provider for 75% of employees and their families. Through Yale Health, employees have access to full family coverage — free for most, but on a sliding scale contribution for some. Many of the healthcare professionals are part of Yale Medical Group (the clinical practice of Yale School of Medicine) or have joint appointments at Yale School of Nursing. Integration into a medical community provides shared knowledge and consultations with partnering institutes and departments. Employees receive comprehensive care – preventative, specialty and emergency – and service integration with nationally ranked Yale-New Haven Hospital and Smilow Cancer Center. There are extended hours; an on-site pharmacy; early-morning pediatric consultations for parents who need to make morning arrangements for sick children; and convenient online appointment scheduling and confidential communication with care providers.
Specifically for women members, Yale Health offers free mammograms, discounts and programs on childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care classes. Also, myriad School of Medicine clinical trials, lectures and conferences on women’s and family health are offered through Women in Medicine, Child Study Center, Ob/Gyn and Reproductive Sciences, Smilow Cancer Center and Women’s Health Research.
In its commitment to ongoing growth and education, Yale offers a tuition reimbursement benefit. To assist women earning a degree or taking work-related courses at other institutions, Yale spent over $1 million on tuition reimbursement for 411 employees in 2010. Depending on eligibility and service, employees were offered up to $5,250 per year. Also, the Yale Women’s Organization awarded $13,650 in scholarships to seven women who sought to further their education in 2010. Since 1972, over $250,000 in scholarships have been awarded to 279 women.
Children of faculty and staff also get educational support. The Scholarship for Sons and Daughters program provides eligible full-time employees up to $15,200 annually for employee children who matriculate at any accredited undergraduate college. In 2010, 988 employees received 1,156 scholarships.
Championing New Haven and the employees who live there
Economic development and school reform in New Haven is one of the University’s top priorities. Sustainability is another. As New Haven’s largest employer, Yale encourages employees to be part of the city.
In 2010, the University launched an ambitious Sustainability Strategic Plan, aimed at developing leadership and meaningful community action in reducing paper and energy consumption, waste and the local carbon footprint. Through use of the Yale Shuttle, Zipcars and departmental bicycles, employees help reduce traffic in New Haven and their carbon footprints.
Yale’s distinct Homebuyers Program has provided employees with up to $30,000 in grants towards home purchases in New Haven since 1994. 970 employees have purchased homes in 19 years; 20 women used the program in 2010.
In 2010, Yale established the “New Haven Promise” scholarship to assist New Haven high school students with college costs. Employees who live in New Haven with eligible children can enjoy this benefit, regardless of eligibility for the Scholarship for Sons and Daughters.
Continuing to cultivate the flexible work environment
As Yale continues to evolve as a workplace, flexible work arrangements are becoming more common in departments across campus. Offices that do support flexible work arrangements for their working mothers and fathers, report a great return on the investment.
The full profiles of the 100 Best Companies are available online at www.workingmother.com and in the October issue of Working Mother magazine.