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Monday Minute: Benefits edition

September 27, 2010

Horizontal mentoring?  What’s that?  Well, it turns out that we have a LOT to teach each other, and the NSF sponsors programs like the one described in a new article by senior scientists Cindy Blaha, Amy Bug, Anne Cox, Linda Fritz, and Barbara Whitten.  Read more about how they fought imposter syndrome and learned from each other, with NSF support, in the Fall 2010 CSWP Gazette.

Working Mother magazine has released its 100 Best Companies list for 2010.  While I doubt there’s a single planetary scientist employed at any of them, their evaluation criteria caught my eye.  Working Mother measures workforce profile, benefits, women’s issues and advancement, child care, flexible work, parental leave and company culture. For this year’s 100 Best, particular weight was given to benefits, flexibility and parental leave.  Interesting.  A few facts from the news release:

All of the 100 Best Companies offer telecommuting, flextime, paid maternity leave, lactation rooms, health-insurance for part-time workers, mental health consultations and elder-care resources.  In addition:

  • 99 offer a range of childcare options, including backup childcare, before and afterschool care, and summer camps; 
  • 98 offer health screening and wellness programs;
  • 95 offer formal mentoring programs;
  • 78 offer onsite fitness centers; and
  • 75 offer paternity leave. 


  • 49% of American companies surveyed offer flextime;
  • 44% offer telecommuting;  and
  • 37% offer health insurance for part-time employees. 

The full article and profiles of the various companies are online at Working Mother.

Lastly, the Canadian space blog Pars3c interviewed me recently about our work over here at Women in Planetary Science.  I talked about our sucess at getting a lactation room at LPSC, and why it matters, along with why I hope this site doesn’t exist in ten years, at Pars3c.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Leslie Tamppari permalink
    September 27, 2010 12:13 pm

    Hi Susan –
    This caught my eye from the PEN newsletter. Thanks! I didn’t realize that you were responsible for getting the lactation room at LPSC. I made use of that and was REALLY happy to have that opportunity! It made my conference a lot better than it could have been. Thanks for your efforts!

    Sincerely, Leslie Tamppari

    • September 27, 2010 2:31 pm

      Thanks, Leslie! At the 2008 LPSC breakfast, that was the first thing that we all agreed on — and if such a simple change could make it easier for women to stay in the field, then it had to be done!

      I’m glad it made a difference to you!

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