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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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September 25, 2008 10:02 AM

Microsoft lauded as great place for working moms

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Working Mother magazine named Microsoft to its 100 Best Companies list for 2008, citing 20 weeks of job-guaranteed time off for new parents (by birth or adoption), among other family-friendly benefits. It was the sixth appearance on the list for the Redmond company.

The magazine notes that among the companies on its list, more than half increased benefits, despite the economic downturn.

Update, 5:05 p.m.: A Microsoft spokeswoman noted that Working Mother had a few things a bit wrong about the company's benefits. Here's the correct info: "Microsoft offers 20 weeks of job-guaranteed time off for new parents only. [Also] birth mothers receive 8 weeks maternity leave, and 12 weeks parental leave (20 job-guaranteed weeks off), and fathers and adoptive parents receive 12 job-guaranteed weeks off."

-- Every company on the list offers on-site lactation rooms, compared with 25 percent of all companies.

-- 88 percent of the winners offer backup child care services, compared to 7 percent nationally.
-- 84 percent have stress-reduction programs versus only 14 percent nationally.

Microsoft, the only company from Washington state to make the magazine's list, offers 12 weeks paid leave to new moms. New adoptive moms and dads get four weeks paid. The benefits extend to new hires who recently became parents. The company offers seminars on bringing a new baby home, transitioning back to work and parenting young children. It also got credit from the magazine for efforts to help women advance in their careers, such as a 2007 Web conference and an effort to pair junior-level women at the company with senior-level mentors.

Microsoft's work force is about 25 percent women. Working Mother calculated that women make up 16 percent of the companies top earners, however.

Some other tech companies on the list, which the magazine has compiled for 22 years:

Dell

Hewlett-Packard
IBM
Intel
Texas Instruments

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