Company Perks and Programs

By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 2006-06-08 Print this article Print

"Among big technology companies, both Sun and IBM have excellent reputations as places for women to work. We hear nothing but good things about them," said Ryan.

Perks and programs from five tech giants
We asked five big technology companies what, if any perks, they offer their female staff to get them in the door, and keep them once theyve got them there.
Googles maternity and paternity leave program allows for 75 percent of pay for up to six weeks, a $500 stipend for new parents to spend on take-out meals, adoption assistance, near-site child care centers and a backup child care center. In addition, Google has high chairs in all of the free cafes on campus, womens rooms in every building for nursing moms, special parking spots for expecting moms, flex-time and conversion to part-time work when it can be arranged. IBMs flexible work options include: compressed work weeks that allow employees to work fewer than five-day weeks; individualized work schedules including variable start and finish times; unpaid leave of absence of up to three years to manage a personal situation with job security. Parenting falls among the top three reasons employees use this option. IBM also offers part-time reduced work schedules, working from home and telecommuting up to three days per week. IBM actively reaches out to young women to encourage them toward careers in math and science through programs in summer camps, campuses and partnerships with several professional organizations, including their own IBM Women in Technology. Microsoft offers paid parental leave, flexible hours when parents have kids out of school for the summer, new mothers room in most campus buildings and an adoption assistance program. Click here for advice on how to climb the IT ladder. Sun Microsystems offers a flexible work program called Open Work, which approximately half of its employees globally participate in. More than 13,000 work from home up to two days per week, and more than 2,000 do so over three days per week, or what they call "drop-in" centers. Many working mothers register for this program, which receives high approval ratings from staff. Though their SEED (Sun Engineering Enrichment and Development) program, Sun works to develop and retain female employees by pairing up promising college recruits with established senior staff. Sun also has a SunW (Sun Women) Global Inclusion Employee Resource network, a volunteer organization committed to promoting an awareness of womens issues at Sun and fostering networking and mentoring. Yahoos benefits program allows up to four months of pregnancy disability leave if necessitated by a doctor, though a typical period of disability post-delivery is six to eight weeks. The leaves are generally unpaid unless benefits such as short- or long-term disability are selected. Flex-time availability is at the discretion of individual managers. Recruitment of female employees is folded into Yahoos main recruitment program. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on IT management from


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