MIT has been named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine, sponsor of the nation's first and most widely recognized survey of organizational support for employee work/life issues.
The survey, begun in 1986, ranks companies on six criteria: child care, leave for new parents, flexible work arrangements, work/life benefits such as elder care and adoption assistance, and opportunities for women to advance.
This year's "100 Best Companies" survey appears in the October 2000 issue of "Working Mother" Magazine. The article on MIT states, "MIT has worked diligently to make the university a better place for women." It also notes the increase in numbers of women faculty; expansion of on-site child care resources, and MIT's official recognition by President Clinton for its actions on behalf of gender equity.
Laura Avakian, vice president for human resources at MIT, commented, "We are excited to be in the company of America's most progressive companies in terms of support for women and families. Our participation in this survey not only gives us an opportunity to celebrate our successes; it also permits us to benchmark our practices against the very best. It raises the bar for all of us and America's working women are the beneficiaries."
Kathy Simons, co-director of the MIT Family Resource Center, added, "MIT is the only university on this year's list and just the second to have made the list in 15 years. The award reflects the work of a great number of people across the institute. Material for MIT's application was provided by over 50 offices and programs that are involved with work/life services on an ongoing basis. Analysis of this and other material helps us see what we've accomplished and what still needs to be done."
Commenting on the winners as a group, Working Mother's Editor in Chief Lisa Benenson said, "This year's competition was tougher than ever. To make this year's list, businesses has to be more creative and proactive in finding ways to accommodate their employees' work/life needs. For this, their commitment and ingenuity are to be commended."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 13, 2000.