100 best lead the way in inspiring change and diverse benefits for Work/Life Balance

The Working Mother 100 Best Companies initiative has selected Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations, as one of the nation’s top companies for family-friendly benefits. This is the fifth consecutive year that Chicago-based Grant Thornton has made the “Working Mother Best Companies” list.

“Recognition once again this year by Working Mother benefits every person in the firm,” said Grant Thornton LLP CEO Stephen Chipman. “As we work together to unleash our potential as a $2 billion firm that makes a powerful difference in the world, it is critical that we continue building a global reputation as a diverse, influential and responsible firm.”

The 100 Best Companies’ family programs adeptly help employees in all areas of their lives. Among the actions Grant Thornton earned recognition for on Working Mother’s 2010 list are:

·         Increasing the number of women in leadership: With 70% of mothers working—and women outnumbering men in the workplace for the first time in U.S. history—Grant Thornton has been instrumental in supporting women’s advancement. Since the inception of Women at Grant Thornton in 2004, the number of women partners at the firm has increased by 184 percent.
·         Keeping health costs low: During a time of tight budgets, Grant Thornton expanded its healthcare benefits. Its new PPO 300 plan offers employees an additional plan choice and greater cost flexibility. Additionally, all plan participants are eligible for a $600 “healthy lifestyles” credit. Nearly 4,000 employees received credit in 2009, representing $2.3 million in employee savings.
·         Creating connections: theGrid, Grant Thornton’s internal social networking site, offers multiple virtual venues where employees can connect with colleagues near and far. More than 134 employee-created affinity groups totaling 1,021 members currently reside on theGrid. These include the groups Working Mothers, Adoptive Families, Aging Parents and Autism.

“Twenty-five years ago, we made a bold decision to launch our Best Companies initiative and challenge businesses to address the unique needs of working mothers,” said Carol Evans, President, Working Mother Media. “The immense influx of women into the workforce demanded changes in workplace culture as companies strove to keep working moms’ talent and loyalty. Today, we celebrate our winners’ untiring commitment to their employees through an impressive array of programs.”

“Grant Thornton has a wide range of family-friendly policies — from flexible work arrangements to support groups for adoptive families. It is a top priority to attract and retain the very best and brightest professionals, whether they be working moms or dads,” said Jacqueline Akerblom, Grant Thornton’s national managing partner of Women’s Initiatives and Programs. “Being named to the Working Mother list for five years in a row affirms that we are clearly on the right track.”

Profiles of the 100 Best Companies, as well as national comparisons, are in the October issue of Working Mother and at workingmother.com/bestcompanies.
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