PriceWaterhouseCoopers has implemented a variety of innovative HR policies and programs to support working parents and to help its employees, especially working moms, achieve work-life balance.
Lillian Borsa has worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers for 16 years. In the past year, she's noticed a dramatic change in the composition of the staff in her practice, the New York Metro Systems and Process Assurance (SPA) group: There are more women and more mothers working at all levels than ever in her practice, which is focused on risks, controls and the operating effectiveness of financial processes and information systems.
Out of the roughly 100 women in the approximately 250-person SPA practice, about 25 are moms—and not just to one child but to multiple children, she says. Lillian, who's 40 and one of SPA's partners, is also a mother of two boys, ages 5 and 7.
When Lillian first started working for PWC 16 years ago, she says there was a 50/50 split between men and women at the associate level, but the ratio of women to men dropped off at higher levels inside the firm. Today, there are increasing numbers of women at all levels inside the company, as evidenced in Lillian's practice. Approximately half of PWC's US workforce is female, and 17 percent of the firm's partners are women. Compare that, for what it's worth, with the paltry number of women who are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, according to Catalyst: 12.
The career progress that women in Lillian's office—and across PWC—experience contrasts starkly with what most women in IT experience. Research published last month from the Anita Borg Institute shows that female technology professionals are making profound personal sacrifices—they're delaying or giving up marriage and motherhood—to advance their careers. And despite those measures, women are still not rising to executive ranks.
"I have been able to progress in my career and have a family, which was a very important goal," says Lillian, who was considered for a partnership in the SPA practice when she was on maternity leave with her second son. "Being on maternity leave didn't hold back my career. Women can maintain their lives and succeed at the firm."
Lillian attributes her and her female co-workers' ability to successfully balance their careers with their personal lives to HR policies PWC has put in place to support working parents and to a firm-wide commitment to diversity. As a result of those measures, Working Mother magazine ranked PWC number 10 on its list of the 100 best companies for working mothers this year. This is the fifth year PWC has made the list.
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