Working Mother names 100 best companies: Columbus' American Electric Power included.

Defying expectations in this time of economic stress, the 2009 Working Mother 100 Best Companies demonstrate their unwavering dedication to family-friendly benefits.

Across all industries, the Working Mother 100 Best Companies lead the way in pioneering programs that support families, with 100 percent offering flextime, on-site lactation rooms and telecommuting; and 98 percent offering job-sharing and wellness programs-numbers that dwarf those seen nationwide. In addition, financial programs available to the 100 Best employees are on the rise, a much-needed boost for families in today's economy. These include tuition reimbursement, retirement planning and pre-tax FSAs for childcare.

By contrast, national numbers are dismal, with just 11 percent of companies offering stress reduction programs (vs. 96 percent of the 100 Best), 16 percent offering job-sharing (vs. 98 percent of the 100 Best), 25 percent offering on-site lactation (vs. 100 percent of the 100 Best), and 35 percent offering health insurance for part-timers (vs. 99 percent of the 100 Best).

"The Working Mother 100 Best Companies stand head and shoulders above the rest," said Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media. "For example, in the last year, we saw the number of companies nationwide offering flexible work arrangements diminish five percentage points, while the 100 Best Companies stayed steady at 100 percent. The 100 Best provide leadership where and when we need it most, furnishing a framework of support for working families during good times and bad. If all companies adopted these best practices, more families could weather the economic storm."

Profiles of the 100 Best Companies, as well as national comparisons, can be found on workingmother.com/bestcompanies .

"Moms are increasingly becoming the sole breadwinners in many households as men lose their jobs at a higher rate than women," said Suzanne Riss, editor in chief of Working Mother magazine. "Now more than ever, our readers and all working mothers need the support of their employers. By offering benefits like paid maternity leave, the ability to work from home and wellness programs, as well as programs that enhance financial well-being, our 100 Best are helping to reduce stress in the busy lives of working moms. These companies epitomize family-friendly support at its best."

Even in tough economic times, the Working Mother 100 Best Companies employ creative programs that adeptly help employees in all areas of their lives. Discovery Communications expanded its work-life spending last year and opened a state-of-the-art childcare center at its Silver Spring, Md., headquarters, in honor of Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter," and wildlife conservationist. At IBM, employees' college-bound kids are eligible for up to $12,000 in corporate scholarships, and Intel offers employees and their children and grandchildren free access to online tutoring.

Now in its 24th year, the Working Mother 100 Best Companies program draws attention to the significant contributions working mothers make to industries and the companies that recognize the importance of tapping this essential labor pool. "We have faith that some day the programs found at the 100 Best Companies will become business norms offered by all companies," said Evans. "When the economy recovers, lagging companies will lose out on a powerful group of dedicated employees-working moms."

THE 2009 WORKING MOTHER 100 BEST COMPANIES
*Indicates a Top 10 winning company
Abbott*
Accenture
Allstate Insurance Company
American Electric Power
American Express Company
AOL
Arnold & Porter
AstraZeneca
Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
Bain & Company, Inc.
Bank of America
Baptist Health South Florida
Bayer Corporation
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Bon Secours Richmond Health System*
Booz Allen Hamilton
The Boston Consulting Group
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Capital One Financial Corporation
Carlson
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Children's Memorial Hospital
Chrysler
Cisco Systems
Citi
Colgate-Palmolive Company
Cornell University
Covington & Burling
Credit Suisse
Dell Inc.
Deloitte*
Deutsche Bank
Diageo North America
Discovery Communications*
Dow Corning Corporation
DuPont
Eli Lilly and Company
Ernst & Young*
FINRA
First Horizon National Corporation
First National Bank
Freddie Mac
General Electric Company
General Mills*
GlaxoSmithKline
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Grant Thornton*
Hallmark Cards, Inc.
HCA Virginia Health System - Central Virginia Market
Hewlett-Packard Company
IBM Corporation*
Intel Corporation
Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase
Katten Muchin Rosenman
Kellogg Company
KPMG
Kraft Foods, Inc.
LEGO Systems, Inc.
March of Dimes Foundation
Marriott International, Inc.
MassMutual Financial Group
MasterCard Worldwide
The McGraw-Hill Companies*
McKinsey & Company
Merck & Co., Inc.
Mercy Health System
MetLife, Inc.
Microsoft Corporation
Moffitt Cancer Center
Morgan Stanley
New York Life Insurance Company
Northern Trust Corporation
Northwestern Memorial HealthCare
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Patagonia, Inc.
Pearson Inc
Pfizer Inc
The Phoenix Companies, Inc.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Pitt County Memorial Hospital
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
PricewaterhouseCoopers*
Principal Financial Group
The Procter & Gamble Company
Providence Health & Services Alaska
Prudential Financial, Inc.
RSM McGladrey, Inc.
S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
sanofi-aventis U.S.
Scripps Health
Texas Instruments Incorporated
TriHealth, A Partnership of Bethesda and Good Samaritan
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
VCU Health System
Verizon Communications Inc
WellPoint, Inc
WellStar Health System
Yale-New Haven Hospital

Methodology:
Companies were selected for the 2009 Working Mother 100 Best Companies based on an extensive application with more than 500 questions on workforce, compensation, child care, flexibility programs, leave policies and more. It also surveys the usage, availability and tracking of programs, as well as the accountability of managers who oversee them. Seven areas were measured and scored: workforce profile, benefits, women's issues and advancement, child care, flexible work, parental leave and company culture. For this year's 100 Best, particular weight was given to benefits, flexibility and parental leave.

For more information on applying for the 2010 Working Mother 100 Best Companies, visit www.wmmsurveys.com. The 2010 online application will be available in mid-December and due by early March 2010. All companies that apply, including those that don't make the 100 Best list, receive feedback showing how they compare with all other applicants.