The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

October 03, 2017

Big Four Proving Themselves as a Place for Working Moms

Last month Working Mother magazine published its list of the “100 Best Companies” of 2017. The list recognizes businesses that provide new parents with various perks and policies, providing insights into a company’s “flexibility and childcare” as well as “recruitment, retention and advancement of women”. This information compiled by the Working Mother Research Institute is done so with the goal of “tracking and promoting the best practices of today while creating strategies for tomorrow” in hopes that “both working mothers and their employers [are given] the information they need to make workplaces truly family friendly”. The 2017 winners are a representation of about 2 million employees at over 28,000 worksites all over the U.S.

The “100 Best Companies” list was meticulously compiled from the results of 400-question surveys concerning mothers in the workforce. The top 100 companies offer an average of 10 weeks of maternity leave, 4 weeks of paternity leave and 6 weeks for adoption leave. All of the top 100 companies offer flextime benefits and 99% of them also offer telecommuting benefits during a leave of absence. Seventy-two percent of the companies train managers on how to hire and advance more female professionals, with 89% offering training on how to manage work-life balance.

Once again all Big Four accounting firms have been named in the top “100 Best Companies” for working moms. EY, Deloitte and PwC took out three of the top 10 spots and KPMG, although falling short of the top 10, made the top 5 of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women.


This industry-leader in audit & assurance, consulting, tax and risk, and financial advisory provides services to some 80% of the Fortune 500 alongside over 6,000 private and middle market companies. Deloitte gives up to 30 days of paid time off per year that may be carried over to the next year. In 2016, two “well-being days” were added to their 12-day holiday calendar. This coming during a time when good mental health is being emphasized more than ever before, both inside and outside of the office. Deloitte celebrates its 24th year on the 100 Best list. On average, the firm offers 22 fully paid weeks off for new mothers, 16 for new dads and 16 for adoptive parents. Newly appointed CEO Cathy Englebert contributes to Deloitte making it to National Association for Female Executives (NAFE)s’ top 10 Companies for Executive Women. With promoting diversity as an issue of importance to the firm, Deloitte can take pride in having secured a top 5 position of Best Companies for Multicultural Women.


EY has placed great emphasis on sustainable growth and development of talent; claiming that by 2020, millennials will fill 80% of all positions. This professional services firm boasts an incredible 95% of its cohort telecommuting and 100% of its female employees participating in both career counseling and mentoring; the firm is celebrating its fourth year on the NAFE list of Top Companies for Executive Women. All employees receive at least three weeks of vacation time, three personal days and up to 10 paid days annually for personal and/or family care. EY celebrates its 21st year on the 100 Best list. Offering an average of 16 fully paid weeks off new moms, new dads and adoptive parents. The firm is proving to be very progressive in their support of family planning with the covering of $25,000 in adoption, infertility and/or surrogacy costs for employees.


Professional-services firm PwC offers its employees various educational benefits from $5,250 in annual tuition assistance to 529 plans, college guidance and workshops on navigating school services for their children. The company also has a scheme where they contribute to paying down college debts, up to $7,200 per person over six years (or until the recipient gets promoted to manager) is available to employees. In the two years since the scheme’s inception, 8,200 have participated. For parents with young children at home, backup-care subsidies are available and are worth $1,000. This year marks the firm’s 19th year on the 100 Best list. On average they offer 15 paid weeks off for new mothers, 6 for new fathers and 12 for adoptive parents. Programs encouraging career advancement for women are strong with 100% of female employees participating in both career counseling and mentoring. New U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner Tim Ryan pushed for a more diverse leadership team and as such, the firm celebrates having the most diverse leadership team in its history. In 2016 the firm piloted a five-month program on transformational leadership for multicultural women. The firm was named on the list of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women.


Audit, tax and advisory services firm KPMG offers mentoring sessions for parents-to-be. These sessions provide group discussions for those going on leave, lactation consultations that are available 24/7 and even the delivery of a breast pump to the home of new mothers two weeks before the baby’s due date. The firm strives to make the transition back into work as seamless as possible by providing new-parent coaching. KPMG is celebrating its 21st year on the 100 Best list. The firm on average provides 16 fully paid weeks off for new moms, 6 for new dads and 6 for adoptive parents. One hundred percent of their female employees participate in both career counseling and mentoring, and 96% participate in management/leadership training; proving career advancement as a matter of great importance to the company. The firm earned a top 5 spot on the list of Best Companies for Multicultural women, with diversity being a key point at their annual Leadership Insights Summit. CEO Lynne Doughtie takes pride in the firm’s 20-member Women’s Advisory Board that heads up six committees and 65 chapters of a women’s network. The 13-year-old group has seen the number of female partners surge by 46%. Just one of the many factors supporting the firm’s status on NAFE’s Top Companies for Executive Women.

It’s worth noting that all of the Big Four require recruiters supply a pool of diverse candidates for open positions.

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