Skip to main content

Report: Houston Companies Lead When it Comes to Family-Friendly Workplace Policies

Published Jan 18, 2023 by A.J. Mistretta

Parent Working (2).jpg

A recent research study assessing family-friendly policies at companies in 15 U.S. metros shows that Houston ranks high in six of 10  areas, from employee and dependent healthcare offerings to paid parental leave and remote work. 

The 2022 Best Place for Working Parents® National Trends Report examines the benefits and policies of businesses that promote family-friendly work environments and their competitive advantage in attracting and retaining employees. Participating companies were surveyed about their policies across 10 proven practices shown to be effective in supporting working parents as well as businesses’ bottom line. Houston is one of 15 metros that participated and a total of 65 companies in the Houston region completed the survey prior to September 21, 2022. Southern Methodist University’s Center on Research and Evaluation collaborated with Best Place for Working Parents® to complete the report. 

Fifteen industries were represented among the Houston survey participants, with the highest participation in the nonprofit, professional services and finance & insurance sectors. Companies of all sizes participated, including large (29%), mid-sized (30%), small (27%) and micro (14%) organizations. 

Houston ranks among the top 3 metros for the following policies:

  • Employee and Dependent Healthcare
  • Paid Time Off
  • Parental Leave 
  • Nursing Benefits
  • Child Care Assistance
  • Remote Work

LaTanya Flix, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Partnership, led the launch of the assessment in 2022. “The results are compelling because the Houston region has not been recognized as a leader in this area. It is exciting to see our companies’ efforts recognized and to know how we compare to other regions," Flix said. "The findings demonstrate that Houston area companies are implementing proven practices that benefit families, increase employee retention, and ultimately make their companies more competitive. We have momentum in Houston and the Best Place for Working Parents® assessment is a useful tool to support companies in continuing to develop, implement, and improve their policies and practices."

In addition to providing a view on the current policy environment, the national report also sought to evaluate the success of implementing the top ten policies in creating family-friendly workplaces across size and industry, and what changes had occurred in these policies pre- and post-COVID.

Several key findings from the report include:

  • Most family-friendly companies offer healthcare, paid time off, remote work, and flexible work policies. 90% of Best Place for Working Parents designees have these policies because they are affordable and effective, whereas onsite child care and backup child care are the least frequently offered.
  • Larger companies offer a wider range of family-friendly benefits, whereas smaller companies are focused on a few benefits that have a very high impact. An organization's ability to implement policies increases with its size. Micro and small organizations, however, are also capable of implementing a range of the top ten family-friendly policies and are above average in implementing high-impact benefits, such as on-site child care and backup child care.
  • On average, Business & Information and Finance & Insurance organizations offer more family-friendly benefits compared to other industries surveyed. Business & Information and Finance & Insurance organizations each offer five family-friendly benefits above the national average, which is more than any of the other industries surveyed.

“In order to create workplaces that are both family-friendly and business-friendly, we must first understand the specific needs, trends, and challenges of Best Place for Working Parents businesses across each industry and organization size. With the ability to benchmark a company's performance against similar organizations, business leaders can gain insights on best practices in recruiting and retaining employees and identify tangible ideas for how to implement research-backed family-friendly policies in their own organizations,” said Sadie Funk, national director of The Best Place for Working Parents. 

View the complete report here and take the assessment here
 

Related News

Quality of Life

Partnership Launches Best Place for Working Parents Assessment

2/28/24
The Greater Houston Partnership has launched the Best Place for Working Parents®, an online self-assessment enabling local business leaders to determine whether their organization qualifies to earn the designation. Originating in Fort Worth in 2020, the confidential online business self-assessment allows businesses of all sizes tout innovative practices that are helping today’s working parents provide for their families, and adapt and thrive at work during extraordinary times. The assessment highlights the top 10 research-backed policies proven to benefit working parents and businesses’ bottom line. The assessment also provides a real-time dashboard of how a business fares against other businesses of like size and industry across each of the top 10 family-friendly practices in their region. While family-friendly policies have a direct impact on working parents, research shows that there is also a serious business case for being family-friendly: 83% of millennials would leave one job for another with stronger family-friendly support. Replacing an employee costs an employer six to nine months of that employee’s salary. Over 60% of working parents said child care issues have caused them to miss work. Employers lose $13 billion annually due to child care challenges faced by their workforce.    As the lead organization in the Houston region, the Partnership encourages businesses to participate in the assessment and learn more about the effectiveness of their policies. The self-assessment offers real-time designations to businesses of all sizes whose family-friendly policies qualify through a first-of-its-kind, 3-minute online self-assessment. The Best Place for Working Parents® designation for qualifying businesses can be accessed at business.bestplace4workingparents.com. View these additional resources to learn more about the assessment and why it's important.  Case Studies The Family-Friendly Initiative Participating Workplaces Gaining a Competitive Edge through Family-Friendly Policies 2023 National Trends Report “Getting Back to Work” Research Report 2024 National Summit
Read More
Racial Equity

Enhancing Supply Chain Diversity: A Perspective from D.C.

12/1/23
A core focus of the Greater Houston Partnership’s One Houston Together initiative is to enhance spending with Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) within the Houston region. This work is advanced through quarterly Supplier Diversity Roundtables along with a bi-annual convening of chief purchasing officers (CPOs) within the Partnership’s membership. The 2022 Houston MBE Economic Impact Analysis reveals there are 771 certified MBEs generating $8.2 billion in revenue across 18 industry sectors in metro Houston. Many of these MBEs have established relationships with global corporations and are above $10M in revenue. Houston businesses have a great opportunity to capitalize on our region’s diverse supplier base and to ensure a robust and competitive pipeline of suppliers in the future. During the November 2023 convening of Houston CPOs, the Partnership welcomed two guest speakers to offer their perspectives on supplier diversity from their vantage point in Washington D.C.: Carmen West, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Equality of Opportunity Initiative Nigel Stephens, Principal, Phoenix Strategies Amidst the evolving political climate related to diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in both the public and private sector, Carmen and Nigel offered thoughtful advice to help companies have the best suppliers at the table when making purchasing decisions.  Key takeaways from the discussion included: Lead with the Business Case for Supplier Diversity: CPOs and leaders should lead discussions about supplier diversity with a strong business case. This includes highlighting key benefits such as supply chain resilience, recruitment and retention, access to new markets and customers, and innovation that supplier diversity can bring. It is important to document and measure the economic impact of supplier diversity both on the business and the community. Strengthen Commitment to Supplier Diversity throughout the Organization: Chief Procurement Officers and Chief Diversity Officers should emphasize the importance of commitment to supplier diversity within their organizations. Supplier diversity is not the responsibility of just one department, or a single person’s job, rather, it should be embedded into the core values and culture of the company. This commitment should be reflected in the formal procurement process and considered as part of the overall business strategy. Increase Collaboration and Connectivity: There is a need for greater collaboration and connectivity within the supplier diversity ecosystem. Companies, business support organizations like SBA and HMSDC and chambers of commerce should work together to share information, resources, and data on diverse suppliers. This can help overcome the challenge of identifying and accessing diverse businesses, especially those in underrepresented communities or industries. The Greater Houston Partnership’s One Houston Together Supplier Diversity Roundtable, CPO Convenings and the new MBE Accelerator Program are exemplars of this advice.  Improve Understanding of the Capabilities of MBEs: The mindset and perception about diverse entrepreneurs and their capabilities need to change. There should be a commitment to learn and understand what these businesses are capable of and how they can contribute to supply chains. This may involve corporate purchasing executives attending customized learning modules, training, and education to address the latest trends, innovations, shifting racial demographics and market demands that put today’s leading MBEs in the spotlight. Leverage Existing Networks and Data: There is a need to leverage existing networks and data to support supplier diversity. Organizations like the US Chamber of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency, Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, and Small Business Administration already have lists and databases of diverse businesses. Utilizing and connecting these resources can help identify and engage diverse suppliers. Carmen shared the U.S. Chamber is working on a new digital initiative to greatly improve this network of information sharing with more to come in 2024. Broadly speaking, as an ecosystem dedicated to supplier diversity, CPOs can lead these efforts by  emphasizing the importance of streamlining the MBE Certification Process. The certification process for minority-owned businesses has become burdensome and costly. The current system of multiple certifications from different organizations can be simplified and streamlined to reduce barriers and enhance access to opportunities. Companies should keep this complexity in mind and be flexible in the certifications they require.  For those interested in the Partnership’s Supplier Diversity programming and initiatives, contact Damean Townsend, Senior Director, Supplier Diversity at dtownsend@houston.org. 
Read More

Related Events

Racial Equity

Houston DiverseCity Summit

Ready to explore what’s next? Join the Greater Houston Partnership for the fourth annual Houston DiverseCity Summit, an inspiring gathering dedicated to advancing talent as a key driver of the…

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners