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Tuesday
Mar292011

Walmart and Women: How Do Other Big Companies Embrace Female Workers?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Carly Huey never thought she'd still be working for Patagonia.

"I started working in the Boston store in 1997 as a sales associate," Huey said.

Huey thought the job would only last a year, but two kids and multiple promotions later, she has now been with the company for more than 10 years.

She climbed the ladder from sales associate to district manager, holding three other positions along the way.

Patagonia offers "no cost" health insurance for its employees, even to those who work just 20 hours a week. Almost everyone at the company, 99 percent of employees, work a flexible schedule: Leaving to attend a child's soccer game is actually encouraged.

The result of this kind of workplace is that women have stayed and excelled at Patagonia. Today, 62 percent of the company's top executives are women, and what is good for women is good for business.

"There's a huge return on investment for companies who invest in their female employees and in their hourly workers, and that investment pays off by having talented people who stay," said Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media.

Marriott International extends its hospitality to all employees. The hotel chain offers perks like flextime and training to everyone, including front desk workers and housekeepers.

Marriott also promotes from within the company, and five of the company's 12 vice presidents are women.

Over at McDonalds, even part-time employees can apply for the 401k program and purchase health insurance.

If an employee wants to go back to school, McDonalds will reimburse them. Sixty-four percent of store managers at the company are women and 70 percent of them started flipping burgers.

This means that the girl taking orders behind the counters has a real shot at eventually being the company's CEO.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio