Work-Life Benefits at Xerox Offer Win-Win for Working Mothers, Women
STAMFORD, Conn.,- In a close race for top talent, creating an environment that supports working women helps companies like Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) attract and retain the best and brightest people. On Mother’s Day and every day, Xerox recognizes that employees measure their own satisfaction by being successful at work and at home.
“With women representing 32 percent of Xerox’s total U.S. work force of 28,400, creating an environment for success is mutually beneficial for our company and for our people,” said Patricia Nazemetz, chief human resources and ethics officer at Xerox.
Xerox offers various work arrangements to help achieve balance, including flex time, job sharing and telecommuting; child-care subsidies, domestic partner benefits, and other employee assistance programs. Xerox’s commitment to an inclusive workplace is reflected in the company’s professional development, training and support programs, including its partnerships with six independent employee caucus groups such as The Women’s Alliance and the Black Women’s Leadership Council.
A recent survey of working mothers conducted by Working Mother Media found that “78 percent of working moms call themselves fulfilled,” and “flextime and telecommuting are the two benefits that working moms most value.” Xerox finds this to be true in these examples:
Flexible scheduling offers balance
Nearly 15 years ago, before work-life policies were popular, Nancy-Jean Bono, 43, an administrative assistant at the company’s headquarters in Stamford, Conn., was able to arrange a flexible work schedule. Mother of Amanda, 14, and Travis, 12, Bono works a 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. flex schedule. Bono’s husband works nights and the schedule allowed the couple to share child-care time without needing to secure outside help. It also provided her the opportunity to be a Girl Scout leader and attend every baseball and soccer game her children ever played. “I don’t think I ever missed a game,” she says.
Job sharing, child-care resource and referral systems, “This is my mom.”
Debbie Huegi, 38, and Lidia Hogan, 49, work in Stamford, sharing their job as administrative assistants to the company’s chief accounting officer. They each work three, 10-hour days, earn full benefits, and, because they job share, they get two days off. They work together on Tuesdays to coordinate and review details.
“I’m a single mom,” says Huegi, mother to Charlie, 10, and William, 7, “and I’ve worked at Xerox through all the important stages of my life - getting married, buying a home, having kids, and now starting a new stage of life. The company has always been so wonderful and flexible. They’ve made it hard for me to even think about leaving.”
Says Hogan, “Job sharing has allowed me to be involved in every part of my children’s lives - school, clubs, and sporting events. It’s really important to them to have mom at the game and to be able to say to their friends, ’This is my mom.’” Aside from job sharing, Hogan has accessed Xerox’s child-care resource and referral benefit, which guides employees through the process of selecting child care and provides referrals to area centers.
Another working mom at Xerox, Manisha Mande, 43, a multinational product launch manager in the company’s Rochester, N.Y., offices, also availed herself of the child-care resource and referral services. “It was so great to have the support. As a new mother, I had no idea what questions to ask, and they really helped identify what to look for in a child-care setting,” she said.
Mande, a member of Xerox’s Asians Coming Together caucus group, worked flex time when her first son, Rohan, was born 12 years ago. “Xerox was so flexible,” she notes. “If one of my boys (she has another son, Vishal, 8) was sick, I could function as a telecommuting employee, and participate in meetings and conference calls from home. It really minimized the amount of days I would have missed work and was a win-win.”
Flexible spending offsets cost of child care
Parisa Tom-Kubota, 42, a sales account manager in Palo Alto, Calif., and also a member of Xerox’s ACT caucus group, takes advantage of Xerox’s flexible spending account program. The program allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for child care, elder care or extended household health care. Tom-Kubota sets the pre-tax dollars aside for child care. Mom to 3-year-old Halle, and 2-year-old Summer, Tom-Kubota also finds her sales job is conducive to working from home when necessary.
Knowing a family-friendly environment when you see one
Ragni Mehta, 37, a vice president of Lean Six Sigma in Rochester, has been an employee with the company for 17 years. Even before she had children, she recognized the family-friendly environment at Xerox. Mehta is married to another Xerox employee, Andre Blaakman, who is in product development. When the company transferred Blaakman to the United Kingdom, Xerox made an effort to find a position for Mehta so the couple would not be separated. They have also used Xerox’s mortgage assistance program, which provides up to $2,000 for first-time homebuyers, and the tuition assistance program, which enabled both Mehta and Blaakman to earn their master’s degrees.
For more information about Xerox’s work-life benefits, visit www.xerox.com/careers.
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