Architecture & Design, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Furniture maker ranks among 'best' employers for moms

October 3, 2017
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Herman Miller New York flagship offices
A look inside part of Herman Miller's "flagship" location on Park Avenue S in New York. Courtesy Herman Miller

A furniture maker in the region has been ranked one of the “100 Best Companies” in the U.S. for working moms.

Zeeland-based Herman Miller was named to the 2017 “Working Mother 100 Best Companies” ranking, produced by the Working Mother Research Institute, or WMRI. This is the seventh time the company has made the ranking.

The ranking          

An undisclosed number of private-sector companies submitted a 400-page survey to be considered for the rankings.

To determine the year’s “100 Best Companies,” WMRI researchers aggregated data from the companies’ responses on women’s representation in the workplace, benefits, advancement, child care, parental leave and company culture.

The full report serves as a benchmarking tool for companies looking to learn “how their organizations stack up against others” of similar size and geographic location, in terms of corporate policies and programs.

Women and moms at Herman Miller

Thirty-nine percent of Herman Miller’s 4,621 U.S. employees are female. Thirty-two percent of its managers are women, and 45 percent of all new hires are women.

WMRI said Herman Miller made the ranking because of a range of support programs it offers to working moms.

“Parents appreciate this furniture manufacturing company’s seven formal flexible work arrangements, 100 percent dependent-care match (up to $750 annually) and volunteer policy (16 paid hours per year, which can be used to help out with a child’s school or sports team),” the ranking said.

The manufacturer offers emotional well-being classes; family, relationship, job and health counseling; and “mental health first aid” training for employees to learn how to identify and assist colleagues in need.

On average, Herman Miller offers two fully paid weeks off for birth moms, two for adoptive moms and two for dads.

The company also offers back-up child care, subsidizes elder care and offers on-site vaccinations.

"100 Best"

Companies on the “100 Best” list offer more paid leave, flex time, telecommuting, compressed work schedules and job sharing than the national average, which is based on the Society for Human Resource Management report, “2017 Employee Benefits.”

One hundred percent of the “100 Best Companies” offer paid maternity leave, compared to 30 percent nationwide; 98 percent offer paid adoption leave, versus 23 percent nationwide; 97 percent offer paid paternity leave, compared to 24 percent nationally; and 93 percent offer adoption assistance, compared to 9 percent nationwide.

The “100 Best Companies” offer an average of 10 weeks of paid maternity leave, four weeks of paid paternity leave and six weeks of paid adoption leave.

All of the “100 Best Companies” allow for flex time, 99 percent offer telecommuting, 88 percent accommodate a compressed work schedule, and 79 percent allow for job sharing, which is when two part-time employees jointly do a full-time job and share the remuneration.

Bonus services that many of the “100 Best Companies” offered include elder care referral services, legal assistance/services, dry-cleaning services, concierge services, elder-in-home assessments, foreign language classes, prepared take-home meals, mortgage assistance and English as a second language, or ESL, classes.

Additionally, all of the top 10 companies in the ranking — Bank of America, Deloitte, EY, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Company, Prudential Financial, PwC, Unilever and Zoetis — offer in-vitro fertilization benefits.

The full report can be viewed online.

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