Family Friendly Workplace Awards Announced

Balancing work and family is one of the most significant parenting challenges. The term "family-friendly workplace" has meant many things over the past few years and the types of benefits that companies are now instituting have evolved. There is a wide range of company benefits, that when packaged together, can really make a difference in a working parents life. This year, once again local employers are being recognized for their efforts to create family friendly workplaces.

United Way and the Santa Cruz County Breastfeeding Coalition are pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Santa Cruz County Family Friendly Workplace Awards

2012 Winners – Family Friendly Workplace Award with a Breast Feeding Emphasis

  • Central California Alliance for Health
  • Driscoll’s
  • Reiter Berry Farms and Affiliates

2012 Winners – Family Friendly Workplace Award

  • Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos
  • The Volunteer Center
  • YWCA of Watsonville

Examples of Family Friendly Workplace policies are:

  • Schedule Flexibility: flextime, part-time, job sharing, compressed workweeks - these are all ways to ease the schedule conflicts that parents face.
  • Telecommuting: whether it's an everyday arrangement, available on an as-needed basis, or somewhere in between, many employers see telecommuting as a way to provide another form of flexibility to workers.
  • Child-care Programs: companies are setting up on-site or off-site daycare, after-school and summer programs, as well as sick and emergency child care programs that allow parents to have one less thing to worry about in their day.
  • Maternity/Paternity Leave Policy: the standard 6 weeks is being stretched out to accommodate parents who want to be home with their infants, and companies are extending the benefit to dads too.
  • Wellness Programs: it's no mystery that a happy, healthy employee is much more productive than a stressed-out, sick one.

These practices can benefit employers by better retention of employees, greater focus at work for employees, and fewer work absences.

Specific Breastfeeding Friendly Policies are also in place by many local employers. This year the Family Friendly Workplace Awards are again honoring employers that have breastfeeding specific policies, both formal and informal. Increasing by 25% over the last seven years, Women are an essential and growing part of our workforce in terms of their numbers and productivity.

The Family Friendly Workplace Awards is launched in May of each year. Nominations are collected in June and winners announced in July.

For more information contact: Kymberly Lacrosse