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Best Mortgage Companies for Working Mothers

Working Mother magazine releases list

September 21, 2005

By COCO SALAZAR


Among mortgage related companies, a few have been recognized by a magazine for working mothers for how well they treat 'mom'.

Working Mother magazine recently released its latest 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers list.

One company on the 2005 list was Accenture, which among its services provides mortgage origination and fulfillment business process outsourcing.

Under the New York-based company's family-friendly work options, frequently-traveling managers are allowed to take local assignments of their choosing for up to six months; fathers and domestic partners receive a paid, one-week leave of absence; employees can be reimbursed $50 per day and use a service that locates care for a child, partner or elderly parent at a low cost; and workers are allowed to voluntarily donate their unused Hours for Help to a coworker who needs extra time off for emergencies, the magazine said.

The "100 Best" companies are reportedly selected for their flexibility, advancement of women, compensation, leave for new parents, child care and work/life culture.

On its fifth consecutive year on the list, Republic Bancorp Inc. was commended for its gold standard of flexibility. Employees are allowed to create their own schedules on a daily basis. The bank's parental leave gives new moms and dads options of taking off one 12-week stretch or in increments. On return, employees can choose to create a new full-time flex arrangement or cut back to part-time, the magazine reported.

"We are proud to be recognized again, as one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers," commented Dana Cluckey, Republic president and chief executive, in an announcement. "This ranking is significant to Republic since 75% of our workforce is female and it exemplifies the strong value we place on our exceptional work-life policies and outstanding employee and family benefits programs. By providing flexible solutions to our employees to facilitate their balance of work and home life, they are more focused in providing customer service that exceeds expectations."

Republic's benefits package reportedly includes an option to buy up to 10 extra vacation days a year, and perks such as a birthday day off and a bonus of a day's pay on an employee's wedding day. The Michigan-based lender also treats employees to an on-site massage twice a year and at the end of the year rewards with a cash prize the top-point earners of its monitored health and fitness program.

Making its 17th appearance on the magazine's list was Bank of America. The company's perks reportedly include paid parental leave of eight weeks, which was raised from six weeks for new moms and from two weeks for new dads and adoptive parents; on-site childcare centers and discounts at national-backup centers, supplemented by $87 to $175 in monthly childcare reimbursements for employees with annual pay under $34,000; and pretax accounts for parents.

Citigroup was commended by the magazine for hiring many females for senior management positions last year, including chief financial officer Sallie Krawcheck, and finding ways to retain and increase the number of mid- to senior-level females. Perks offered by the New York-based parent of CitiMortgage include on-site and backup-care facilities; discounts at national day-care chains; a 13-week paid maternity leave and opportunity for returning moms to phase back into their jobs and flex their hours or work from home; and college scholarships for employee kids.

Credit Suisse First Boston LLC also made the 2005 list for perks such as its three-month sabbatical for workers with only five years' tenure that provides a fully paid first month and partly paid two months, according to the magazine, and for giving new moms, dads and adoptive parents at least 20 weeks off, job-guaranteed, with eight weeks phasing back into work on a part-time schedule. Credit Suisse reportedly recently implemented a discussion group program about raising kids and caring for aging parents, which also provides a lactation consultant for nursing moms.

First Horizon National Corp. was selected for its flexible, compressed weeks and part-time schedules. New mothers can take an additional four weeks beyond their "FMLA" leave, and both primary and secondary caregivers can take up to 16 weeks off after adopting a child. Employees also receive a number of free services from the Mayo Clinic, including a 24-hour nurse hotline, a pregnancy advisory program and a Tobacco Quitline, according to the magazine. The Tennessee-based lender said it is the 11th consecutive year it has made the list.

Meanwhile, Fannie Mae was ranked a Working Mother 100 Best company for the 12th time. The magazine, which highlighted that more than half of the participants in the secondary lender's college tuition aid program were women, commended Fannie's emergency dependent-care policy that gives employees up to $40 a day for 30 days each year to help cover expenses when childcare, or elder care falls through and reimbursement of childcare expenses for those who work overtime on urgent projects. Employees also receive up to five days of family-sick leave per year and up to 10 hours of paid-volunteer leave per month to work at their child's school or in the community, according to the magazine.

Other mortgage-related entities on the list included Deutsche Bank, First National Bank, Freddie Mac, HSBC-North America, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia Corp., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Zurich North America, GE Home Finance parent General Electric Co. and GMAC parent General Motors.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

E-mail: [email protected]


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