To be considered a healthy workplace these days, a company needs to offer a whole lot more than insurance; it needs to set things up so that its employees never need to choose between work and wellness. By providing access, incentives, and subsidies, the employers on our list pretty much guarantee that their female employees exercise, eat right, and get the preventive care they need. But even free flu shots and swank office gyms won't keep women healthy if stress is their 9-to-5 companion, so we singled out companies that also provide strategies for making women's work/life balance more manageable. Ladies, start polishing those resumes.
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Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Watertown, MA
Prioritizing women's health is a no-brainer at this nationwide provider of child care and early childhood education, since a whopping 98% of its employees are women. It's no surprise that employees receive 50% discounts at the 600 centers the company operates, but the company also provides assistance with life's other complexities, such as financial and legal ones, through a free employee assistance program, which hooks employees up with professional advice and referrals. Not just employees but their immediate family members receive discounts of up to 60% at more than 1,500 gyms around the country.
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Zappos, Henderson, NV
This online purveyor of shoes, and just about everything else for your body, covers an almost-unheard-of 100% of insurance premiums. Also unheard of: a full-time life coach to help employees unravel whatever areas of their lives are unhealthily tangled up. Among the other quirky, life- and health-enhancing perks Zappos offers its employees (more than half of whom are women): on-site wellness services; free breakfast, lunch, and snacks; paid time off to volunteer; nursing rooms; nap rooms; legal services; concierge services; and even pet insurance.
Progressive Insurance, Cleveland, OH
At this insurance company's six regional headquarters, employees can get nearly all of their health needs met without leaving the building. They can sweat or stretch at an on-site fitness or yoga class, book a massage, or retreat to a quiet room for relaxation or meditation. And basic health screenings never slip through the cracks, since free blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol checks are offered at the company's primary care centers. If an employee needs to shed pounds, the Weight Watchers at Work program is there to help. Progressive looks after the health of employees' new offspring too, with a program that provides pregnant ladies with personalized case management, smoking cessation advice, and preterm labor support. Once a baby's arrived, Progressive makes the nursing-while-working thing as easy as possible, with lactation rooms containing hospital-grade pumps at its larger office locations. Ergonomics consultations prevent desk job-related pain.
SAS, Cary, NC
This software company has offices across the globe and has won "best place to work" awards everywhere from Norway to Brazil. Nearly half of its workforce is female (that's a lot for a tech company), and these ladies' bods benefit from on-site health care in two office locations and, at the North Carolina headquarters, a swank 66,000-square-foot gym. Moms can take advantage of company child care for just $410 a month, among the cheapest in the nation. To make their lives even easier, women get their beauty needs fulfilled at the in-house salon, while their rides are polished up at the car wash.
Hasbro, Pawtucket, RI
A corporate commitment to workplace flexibility means that this toy company's employees have better control over their time to use as they please. A program called Hasbro Hours means half-days on Fridays (no, not just in August-all year), and women with complex family commitments can work out a schedule to fit their needs. A workplace wellness program called Imagine encourages them to use that extra time off to keep fit and eat healthy, via educational programs focused on fitness, nutrition, and disease prevention and management. The company also offers Weight Watchers and smoking cessation programs, many locations have on-site gyms, and the Rhode Island headquarters boasts indoor and outdoor measured walking routes that encourage employees to keep moving. Hasbro boosts its women's mental well-being by supporting family life in all its forms, with adoption and foster care assistance and health care benefits for same-sex couples.
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Clif Bar & Company, Emeryville, CA
Clif Bar lets employees exercise on the clock 2 1/2 hours weekly at its fully equipped fitness center, in which five personal trainers are on hand to guide you. And if an employee gets so fit that she's ready to race (maybe even in the company-sponsored annual Luna Bar Women's Triathlon), the company will give her up to $350 to cover entry fees and other competition expenses. Exercise aside, Clif provides employees free nutritional counseling and life coaching services. To make women's work/life balance easier, Clif offers concierge services to arrange everything from car detailing to haircuts. On-site day care is a boon for moms, but probably the best benefit for busy women is the company's "9/80 Schedule" option: If you elect to work 80 hours in 9 days, you get every other Friday off.
Standard Process Inc., Palmyra, WI
Owned by the same family since its founding in 1929, this maker of "whole food" nutritional supplements treats its employees (more than half of whom are women) like family-specifically, like a mother who nags you constantly to take care of yourself and is not above bribing. Standard Process offers $1,000 to any employee who commits to its wellness program, which includes a free 24-hour, on-site fitness center (husbands and older children can use it too) and a menu of female-friendly classes, including Zumba, cardio fusion, and self-defense. Working moms can make time to break a sweat because they never need to race home to relieve a babysitter-the company's subsidized child care is right in the building. On the nutrition front, Standard Process offers free nutritional counseling, free supplements, vending machines filled with subsidized healthy snacks, and even free beets, radishes, and other veggies from the on-site organic farm. If all of that doesn't keep you in top form, free chiropractic care is available during work hours to iron out any kinks.
Google, Mountain View, CA
Internet behemoth Google is a dream employer from a health perspective-or any perspective, really. In addition to the standard (for Silicon Valley) on-site gym and cafeteria filled with healthy eats (lunch and dinner are free), its California "campus" boasts an in-house doctor and a team of staff massage therapists. Employees can choose to have standing desks, which studies show increase metabolism, lower blood sugar, and generally combat the negative health effects of sitting on your behind all day. New moms get 12 fully paid weeks off (up to 18 if they've worked there more than a year) and free lactation consultations, and-wait for it-they can expense $500 of take-out meals during the first few months of parenthood. If you're going the adoption route, Google will give you $5K to help with expenses, and if your only "kids" are the furry kind, the company offers pet-care referrals. Perhaps most importantly, Google helps with women's work/life balance by enabling them to plow through an entire to-do list without leaving the building: car wash and oil change, dry-cleaning drop-off and pickup, hair styling, bike repair, and more.
Tell us: How do you stay healthy on the job?
-- By Celeste Perron, Prevention
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