Magazine celebrates corporate America’s family friendly leaders

Working Mother magazine today named MetLife, Inc. a 2007 Working Mother Best Company for Working Mothers for the ninth consecutive year. Leading a significant and ongoing shift, MetLife is using company-wide benefits and programs to attract and retain working mothers. 

“Every year our winning companies raise the bar for what it means to be an employer of choice for working families,” said Carol Evans, CEO and President, Working Mother Media.  “MetLife not only offers essential benefits like flextime and telecommuting—they go above and beyond with a range of best practices and policies to ease the difficulties for working parents and their families. Their supportive culture makes a huge difference to employees who want to be great moms and great workers.”

“MetLife continues to offer and identify new opportunities to help employees deal with the ‘ifs’ in their lives,” said Debra J. Capolarello, senior vice president and chief talent officer for MetLife. “Associates are not only taking advantage of MetLife’s employee assistance programs and flexible work arrangements, they are coming up with new ideas and suggestions for ways to expand and better utilize work/life programs. These best practices developed individually coupled with a strong commitment from senior management is what makes MetLife a great place to work.”

The numbers show that MetLife continues to attract women to its workforce with 52 percent of all new hires in 2006 being women. In addition, employees are increasingly tapping into the company’s expansive work/life programs:

- In 2006, almost 14,000 individual contacts were made to Work-Life ASSIST, MetLife’s employee assistance and resource and referral provider (and a woman-owned business), by associates and their immediate family members.   
- In 2006, through MetLife’s agreements with several child care vendors, 33,000 employees had access to guaranteed back-up child care at 25 locations across the United States. 
- An increasing number of MetLife’s associates participate in a formal flexible work arrangement such as compressed work week, part-time work, job-sharing, flextime and telecommuting, among others. 

“As a mother of two young kids, I think that flexible work arrangements are a must for working parents. Being able to work from home from time to time has really helped me to balance the daily demands of my career and family. I don’t feel like I have to choose between the two and that’s important to me,” says Laurel Daring, assistant vice president of multicultural marketing and advertising for MetLife.

Ms. Daring is not alone in her department. One colleague, who had a baby about a year ago, now works at home permanently and others work virtually when needed.

Added Suzanne Riss, the editor in chief of Working Mother magazine, “As a working mother myself, I understand how absolutely essential it is for companies to find ways to nurture the personal and professional lives of employees.  I commend MetLife for conceiving and effectively implementing programs and benefits that offer an inspiring paradigm for the rest of corporate America:  it is possible to be both family-friendly and financially successful.”

MetLife was selected for the 2007 Working Mother 100 Best Companies based on an extensive application of 575 questions.  The application included detailed questions about workforce, compensation, child-care and flexibility programs, leave policies and more.  It also checked 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, compensation, child care, flexibility, time off and leaves, family-friendly programs, and company culture.  For this year’s 100 Best, particular weight was given to flexibility and family-friendly policies.  
About Working Mother 
Founded in 1979, Working Mother magazine reaches nearly 3 million readers and is the only national magazine for career mothers.  Its 22-year signature initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies, is the most important benchmark for work/life practices in corporate America. The publication also releases the annual list of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women in the June issue.  Working Mother is published by Working Mother Media (WMM), which also owns the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), NAFE Magazine, the annual 100 Best Companies WorkLife Congress, as well as the Best Companies for Multicultural Women Conference and regional Town Halls.  In 2006, WMM acquired Diversity Best Practices, the preeminent organization for diversity thought leaders. 

About MetLife 
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) is a leading provider of insurance and other financial services to millions of individual and institutional customers throughout the United States. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. offers life insurance, annuities, automobile and homeowner’s insurance and retail banking services to individuals, as well as group insurance, reinsurance and retirement and savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. Outside the U.S., the MetLife companies have direct insurance operations in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe. For more information, please visit