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Trigaux: Moffitt Cancer Center again on list of best employers for working moms

Published Sep. 23, 2015

The good news is Working Mother magazine this week published its 30th year of the 100 best companies for women seeking the best work-life balance and, once again, Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center made the list.

Moffitt has made the list an impressive seven times. The health care firm says it was included this year for its corporate culture that offers working mothers education assistance, flexible work schedules, and backup child and elder care. Parental leave offers new moms an additional four weeks of paid leave, as well as one week of paid leave for new dads and job protection for mothers beyond the 12 weeks provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act, paying 100 percent of their salary, according to Moffitt.

Working Mother said it likes Moffitt because it helps employees with monthly "Date Nights" at its child care facility, which provides evening babysitting so parents can connect (cost: $10 per child, or $15 per family, including dinner). The rest of the month, the 130-slot facility remains open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate alternative work arrangements. Working Mother calls this a "smart move, as most of the clinical team members here flex or compress their schedules." Dependent backup care can be used 20 days per year. Resource and referral services help parents locate nannies and tutors.

The Tampa Bay Times found similar reasons in reporting on Moffitt's HR policies for Moffitt's repeatedly making the Times annual Top Workplace rankings of area companies.

The better news is that some of the most recent corporate expansions into the Tampa Bay area are by companies that are included in this top 100 list, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and, announced just this summer, Johnson & Johnson. In fact, the only two companies to make Working Mother's best companies list every year for the past three decades are newly arrived Johnson & Johnson and IBM, a longtime Tampa player.

And the best news is how many of the 100 corporations represented on this year's best companies list have significant, well-established and, in many cases, growing operations in this metro area. Think JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Capital One, MetLife, New York Life, Northern Trust, PNC and UBS — just to name some of the hefty financial firms together employing tens of thousands of Tampa Bay households, with many jobs held by women. Other prominent firms to make this year's list with a significant presence in the Tampa Bay market include EY (Ernst and Young), GE and Verizon, among others.

In all, 63 of the 100 best companies claim a presence in Florida. The No. 1 benefit women sought 30 years ago was on-site day care. Now it is flex, the magazine said, which means giving employees more leeway in how they shape their working hours. Nearly three-quarters of employees now use basic flextime, the magazine found.

"In 1986, issues of our magazine talked about the anxiety working moms had about even acknowledging that they had kids at home, for fear of being 'mommy-tracked.' Today, while that fear has not completely melted away, the need to cover your tracks as a working mother is not so dire," the magazine said.

Working Mother said this year's top 100 list "raised the bar higher than ever" when it comes to supporting parents. The magazine found new moms get an average of eight weeks of fully paid maternity leave, three-quarters of employees use flextime, and almost half of all new hires last year were women.

But enough of the congratulations. The Working Mother list of 100 companies is also frustrating. Only two companies of the 100 — Tampa's Moffitt and Baptist Health South Florida in Coral Gables — appear to be based in Florida. Is the effort to compete and make the best companies list for women too much for other Florida businesses, or are they simply not competitive in their benefits?

Nor did Working Mother focus much on the gender gap in pay in the U.S. workplace. Is that perhaps because that gap is narrowing? The White House says women earn 77 cents for every $1 men earn, but the Pew Research Center insists that gap is closer to 84 cents versus $1 now. And for young women, says Pew, that gap is even leaner: 93 cents versus $1. Now that's a trend worth celebrating.

Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrigaux@tampabay.com. Follow @VentureTampaBay.

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