Most cite “flex” arrangement as ideal
In an online survey of more than 700 working mothers in mid- to senior-level management positions, nearly 90 percent of the respondents reported that, if there were no obstacles, they would work either full-time, part-time or under a flex-time arrangement (reported by 31 percent, 26 percent and 33 percent of respondents, respectively). Just 11 percent said they would not work at all.
Additionally, almost three-quarters (74 percent) say that their work/life balance is always right or is right most of the time, and nearly seven in 10 respondents (69 percent) believe that women can “have it all.”
“Leading employers are offering innovative programs that help their employees balance their work and family commitments,” said Jill Smart, Accenture’s chief human resources officer. “These companies understand that to meet the needs and realities of today’s workforce, they must offer employees choices across the lifecycle of their careers, providing new solutions at different points in employees’ lives.”
According to respondents, flex-time, part-time and a modified work week are the three most commonly offered flexibility programs (cited by 61 percent, 51 percent and 44 percent of respondents, respectively). But, while 37 percent say their companies offer telecommuting as a work option, that program (at 50 percent) tops the wish list of respondents to whom it’s not offered.
Other programs that respondents want but that are not offered by their employers include flex-time, employer-provided alternative day care and a modified work week (cited by 47 percent, 44 percent and 40 percent of respondents, respectively). Just 17 percent report that their employers do not offer any flex programs.
The survey also found that:
- The great majority (85 percent) of respondents say their employers are understanding of their child-care issues. Nonetheless, working mothers missed work an average of three times over the past year because of child-care issues
- The most popular option for back-up child care is a spouse or significant other (cited by 65 percent). This was followed by relatives, friends/neighbors and alternative day care (cited by 58 percent, 32 percent and 14 percent of respondents, respectively)
- Just slightly more than half (54 percent) of working mothers take advantage of flex programs as often as they need to
In a related announcement today, Working Mother magazine named Accenture a 2007 Working Mother Best Company for Working Mothers. According to Carol Evans, CEO and president, Working Mother Media, “Accenture not only offers essential benefits like flextime and telecommuting—they go above and beyond with a range of best practices and policies to ease the difficulties for working parents and their families. Their supportive culture makes a huge difference to employees who want to be great moms and great workers.”
The online survey of more than 700 working mothers in mid-to-senior level management positions was conducted in September 2007.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 158,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$16.65 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2006. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
About Working Mother
Founded in 1979, Working Mother magazine reaches nearly 3 million readers and is the only national magazine for career mothers. Its 22-year signature initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies, is the most important benchmark for work/life practices in corporate America. The publication also releases the annual list of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women in the June issue. Working Mother is published by Working Mother Media (WMM), which also owns the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), NAFE Magazine, the annual 100 Best Companies WorkLife Congress, as well as the Best Companies for Multicultural Women Conference and regional Town Halls. In 2006, WMM acquired Diversity Best Practices, the preeminent organization for diversity thought leaders.