Carlson Recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers

Minneapolis, MN | September 25, 2007

Carlson has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mother magazine. It is the sixth time in the last seven years that Carlson has been selected as a "100 Best" company.

Citing Carlson's variety of benefits and programs that help employees balance their work and family lives, the publication also has named Carlson Chair and CEO Marilyn Carlson Nelson the 2007 Working Mother Family Champion.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Nelson will deliver the opening keynote address, "It's All About the Talent," at the Working Mother Work Life Congress, which continues through Wednesday, Oct. 3, in New York City.

"We value the commitment of the talented employees we have at Carlson," Nelson said. "As a family-owned company, it is consistent for us to care about our employees and their families. Being able to develop benefits and programs to help meet their needs is extremely satisfying, and without question, leads to a more creative, productive workplace culture."

Working Mother's 22nd annual "100 Best" list, to be released on Tuesday, Sept. 25, recognizes organizations that provide company-wide benefits and programs to ensure the retention and advancement of working mothers.

Cadre of Benefits Ranges from Child Care to Gift of Time

Among Carlson's benefits and programs are onsite childcare, which Nelson championed in the late 1990s; adoption assistance; alternative work arrangements; seminars on a variety of work/life topics, and volunteer opportunities. In addition, Carlson's employee assistance program provides services ranging from advice on family matters, and health and financial assistance, to home repairs. Employees also take advantage of the "Gift of Time," a vacation-donation program that allows employees to voluntarily donate their vacation time to co-workers facing a life-threatening crisis or disaster-related emergency. In 2006, employees donated nearly 1,200 hours to the program.

"We are extremely pleased to be recognized as a '100 Best' company again this year," said Jim Porter, Carlson's executive vice president of human resources. "We invest in a variety of employee-friendly programs because attracting and retaining great people contribute to the success of our company, which continues to expand around the world. Competitive and innovative benefits and employee programs serve as a differentiator for us."

Variety of Programs Continues to Improve

Carlson also offers paid maternity leave of up to six weeks, paternal leave, lactation facilities, domestic partner benefits, and on-site medical services through a MinuteClinic at the company's headquarters. In addition, the company offers programs to assist with personal development, tuition reimbursement, mentoring, referrals for family matters and subsidized cafeteria services.

"Over the years we have continued to improve our benefits and programs to meet our employees' needs, yet at the same time balance them with our company's objectives," said Charles Montreuil, Carlson's vice president of corporate human resources. "One of those objectives is to balance the need for high-quality health-care services with an eye to the ever-increasing costs of these services. To that end, we are putting together a holistic wellness strategy. Our goal is to provide education, resources and incentives to help employees become more actively engaged in their own health, and to make smarter health-care decisions."

In addition to traditional benefits such as health care and vacation time, employees value Carlson's "extras," such as team-building activities, including picnics, and diversity and holiday events, which the business groups undertake individually.

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