General Mills, Kraft honored by Working Mother

by Eric Schroeder
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NEW YORK — General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, and Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., were included in the 2011 Working Mother 100 Best Companies by Working Mother magazine.

General Mills, which placed in the top 10 among the best companies for working women, was cited for its family accommodations.

“To help people make more time for family, the company promotes flexible schedules, grants 26 job-guaranteed weeks off for a birth or adoption (with $10,000 in adoption aid) and allows employees to take three weeks of vacation in their first year,” Working Mother said. “At the Minneapolis headquarters, an on-site center looks after infants ages 6 weeks to 16 months; everyone else has access to discounts at 63 near-site child care facilities and may request backup-care subsidies.”

Kraft, the only other food company to make the list, was credited for offering kickboxing classes and exercise at a company gym.

“Exercise helps them maintain their stamina, as do flexible schedules that make their lives easier,” Working Mother said. “Nearly all workers telecommute when their schedules allow, and many compress their weeks, job-share or flex their days around the core hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. While maternity leave is generous, parents who decide they want to adopt a child can simply call the company’s employee assistance program to find reputable agencies and consultants and tap $5,000 in aid to cover their costs. College coaching and renewable scholarships worth an average of $7,520 annually help their children achieve big dreams.”

Working Mother estimated women account for 40% of the workforce at General Mills and 38% at Kraft.

According to Working Mother, its best companies application featured more than 650 questions on workforce representation, child care, flexibility programs, leave policies and more.

“It surveys the usage, availability and tracking of programs, as well as the accountability of managers who oversee them,” Working Mother said. “For this year’s Working Mother 100 Best Companies, we gave particular weight to workforce profile, paid time off and company culture.”

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