Mom approved: J&J, Takeda and more lead Working Mother's best places to work list for 2019

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Pharma companies come out on top of Working Mother's annual best places to work. (AntonioGuillem/Getty Images)

Pharma companies' recruiting appeal may be down thanks to political and pricing issues, but they’re still attractive to a key demographic—working parents. Four of the top 10 companies on the Working Mother "100 Best Companies" annual list are pharma companies. Five additional pharma companies made the larger list, as did animal medicine company and Pfizer spinoff Zoetis.

Johnson & Johnson ranked first, with benefits and perks that include six on-site childcare centers at various campuses, said Subha Barry, president of Working Mother Media, in an email interview. Other top finishers included Takeda, which offers remote work and job-sharing options; AbbVie, with a home-help concierge service; and Astellas, which offers a suit of benefits for all family members, including backup child care and support for special-needs children.

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Pharma companies have a strong track record for being family-friendly, she said, and many have surfaced on the list over the more than 30 years since it began.

The others in the top 100 were Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Merck & Co, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi.

“Many pharmaceutical companies have a great track record of being family-friendly and offer a lot of perks in order to support their employees, ultimately promoting work-life balance,” Barry said.

She noted that pharma companies in general have more flexibility for moms than most, with 77% of the women at pharma companies on the list having the ability to telecommute, compared with 54% of women at the overall companies on the list.

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Pharma companies are strong in female advancement, too, with 47% of women at the pharma companies on the list in leadership development programs, compared with 31% on the full top 100 list.

Being parent friendly is important for recruitment and retention, and, in this case, pharma seems to have an edge.

“We applaud the pharmaceutical companies who made our Top 10 list—they are a key component of this movement. We can only hope that other corporations are paying attention and will follow in their footsteps," Barry said.

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