When it comes to supporting working moms, Avon Products Inc. is one of the top employers in the country, according to the newly published 100 Best Companies list from Working Mother magazine.
For 30 years, Working Mother has conducted an annual survey to see which companies set the standard for family-friendly workplaces. The question affects the majority of today’s moms with minor children, 70 percent of whom are employed. To participate, companies must complete a comprehensive survey addressing maternity leave, child care, flex offerings, advancement of women, and other priorities of working moms. The survey evaluates not only the availability of programs, but also the accountability of those tasked with overseeing them.
Avon, which calls itself the company for women, has had a female chief executive since 1999. The current CEO, Sheri McCoy, joined the beauty company in 2012 from fellow Best Company honoree Johnson & Johnson. According to the 2013 Avon Corporate Responsibility Report, women also hold 36 percent of vice president and above positions, and make up 60 percent of Avon’s total workforce. At the 100 Best Companies, women account for 46 percent of the total workforce, on average.
“Avon has 6 million representatives around the world. Many of them are working moms who aim to build better lives for themselves and their families,” McCoy said in an essay that accompanied the list. “As independent contractors, they often join Avon to work around their personal schedules, making their families their first priority (while still earning an income).
“We hear stories every day from representatives who let us know that Avon has literally changed their lives—and we believe this commitment to work-life effectiveness helps set us apart as a 21st century employer-of-choice,” McCoy wrote.
At this year’s Best Companies, new moms get an average of eight weeks—three for dads—of fully paid parental leave, three-quarters of employees use flextime, and almost half of all 2014 hires were women. Spanning 15 industries, the list ranges from educational institutions such as Yale University to financial services firms such as PwC and KPMG.