NWE YORK, N.Y. - Celebrating its silver anniversary this year, the Working Mother 100 Best Companies initiative has selected Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) as one of the nation's top companies for family-friendly benefits. With 70 percent of mothers working-and women outnumbering men in the workplace for the first time in U.S. history-companies like BCBSNC have been instrumental in supporting their advancement.

The 100 Best Companies' family programs adeptly help employees in all areas of their lives. BCBSNC maintained innovative family-friendly policies in the context of a difficult economy. The company has continued to be a pacesetter in the areas of maternity, paternity, adoption benefits, mentoring relationships and flexible work arrangements. 

While the Working Mother 100 Best Companies continue expanding their benefits, those at companies nationwide° lag. Just 44 percent of American companies offer telecommuting (vs. 100 percent of the 100 Best), 17 percent offer formal mentoring (vs. 95 percent), and 37 percent offer health insurance for part-timers (vs. 100 percent).In contrast, all of the 100 Best Companies offer paid maternity leave, lactation rooms, flextime, mental health consultations and elder-care resources; and 98 percent offer health screening and wellness programs-particularly significant in a stress-inducing, poor economy.

"Twenty-five years ago, we made a bold decision to launch our Best Companies initiative and challenge businesses to address the unique needs of working mothers," said Carol Evans, President, Working Mother Media. "The immense influx of women into the workforce demanded changes in workplace culture as companies strove to keep working moms' talent and loyalty. Today, we celebrate our winners' untiring commitment to their employees through an impressive array of programs." 

BCBSNC President and CEO Brad Wilson said, “It’s a great honor for our company to be recognized for the fourth year in a row as one of the 100 best companies in the nation for working mothers. We are very proud of this record of being an employer of choice when it comes to offering the kind of benefits and services that count for working mothers and working families.”

Profiles of the 100 Best Companies, as well as national comparisons, are in the October issue of Working Mother and at workingmother.com/bestcompanies.
Companies were selected for the 2010 Working Mother 100 Best Companies based on an extensive application with more than 600 questions on workforce, compensation, child care, flexibility programs, leave policies and more.  It also surveys the usage, availability and tracking of programs, as well as the accountability of managers who oversee them.  Seven areas were measured and scored: 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. 

For more information on applying for the 2011 Working Mother 100 Best Companies, visit wmmsurveys.com. The 2011 online application will be available in mid-December and due by early March 2011.  All companies that apply, including those that don't make the 100 Best list, receive feedback showing how they compare with all other applicants.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 77 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.

About Working Mother Media
Working Mother magazine reaches 2 million readers and is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers; WorkingMother.com brings to the Web home and career information, advice and a broad range of solutions daily. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Working Mother's signature research initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies, the most important benchmark for work-life practices in corporate America. Working Mother Media, a division of Bonnier Corp. (bonnier.com), includes the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE, nafe.com), Diversity Best Practices (diversitybestpractices.com), the WorkLife Congress and the Multicultural Women's Conference and Leadership Summits. Working Mother Media's mission is to serve as a champion of culture change.

°National statistics are taken from a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management.