Of the companies that made Working Mother’s 2010 100 Best Companies list, a commanding 24 of them are headquartered in New York. That number leads the list by far—New Jersey has the second-largest number of companies, with only nine.
Since many companies are headquartered in New York, the large number of local firms making the list isn’t unheard of. According to Jennifer Owens, Working Mother’s senior director of editorial research and initiative, the Northeast is often strongly represented on the list. The five northeastern states combined account for 42 of the top 100 companies.
The companies that make the top 100 aren’t ranked except to highlight the top 10. To decide who makes the list, Working Mother uses an algorithm to score application questions and essays sent in by companies.
“We ask 610 quantitative questions and then there is the qualitative side where they tell their story,” Owens said.
Those 610 questions are put into eight main areas: workforce profile; benefits; women’s issues and advancement; child care; flexible work; paid time off and leave; company culture; and work/life programs. Meanwhile the essays let Working Mother staffers see upcoming trends; for instance, if a majority of significant numbers of companies are focusing on health and wellness issues.
One trend among this year’s featured companies is an increase in backup child care. The percentage of companies on the list offering backup childcare services has “skyrocketed” up to 87 percent, according to Owens.
“It’s becoming the norm,” she said. “I bet at some point backup child care will be at 100 percent; it’s that fast moving. It’s becoming something that companies think they have to do.”
Working Mother also compares practices at companies on their list to nationwide standards. For instance, while all of the companies on the top 100 offer telecommuting, only 44 percent of companies nationwide do. Another unfortunate difference is a decline in the amount of flextime offered.
“Our numbers hadn’t changed, but for the rest of the country they dropped,” Owens said. “And it worries me.”