Wednesday, September 06, 2000

Working moms accommodated in Tristate jobs

By Cliff Peale
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Paula Bishop's No. 1 job priority is not money or power, it's flexibility.

        The 38-year-old mother of two from Florence works three days a week at St. Luke Hospitals, juggling both the days and the location. That way, she's able to spend maximum time with her two children, ages 8 and 14.

        “I wouldn't leave here for anything,” Mrs. Bishop said. “It's extremely important to me.”

        Mrs. Bishop is not alone. Thousands of women across Greater Cincinnati are craving the flexible job descriptions that she gets from her employer, the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.

        Those conditions helped the Health Alliance earn a ranking among the 100 best companies for working mothers in the October issue of Working Mother magazine.

        Among local companies, Cinergy Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. also earned rankings on the list. Other listed companies with Tristate operations include Gannett Co. Inc. (owner of the Enquirer), Ernst & Young, Arthur Andersen, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche, Johnson & Johnson, Bank One and Ford Motor Co.

        With more employees asking for flexible time, exercise facilities at work, child or elder care, adoption assistance and other benefits, more companies are starting formal programs to meet that demand, said Suzane Bradley, general manager of staffing and diversity strategy at Cinergy.

        For example, the utility started a service this year that provides a list of emergency child-care providers when a child is sick and can't attend day care, Ms. Bradley said. Cinergy also reimburses up to $100 per year for each employee using the program, she said.

        “These kind of programs are important because they enable employees to meet their personal and professional needs,” Ms. Bradley said.

        Another program at the Health Alliance is the Emergency Financial Assistance Fund, which provides grants or loans to employees who experience a financial emergency.

        Since its inception about two years ago, more than 200 employees have participated, said Dianne Carroll, director of employee assistance at the Health Alliance, which includes Christ, University, St. Luke, Jewish and Fort Hamilton hospitals.


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- Working moms accommodated in Tristate jobs
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