I wasn’t surprised to see that Viacom had made Working Mother’s list of 100 Best Companies for the sixth consecutive year. As the mother of two boys – Thomas, 11 months, and Timothy, 2 and a half – who has worked at Viacom for more than seven years, I have found so many reasons why it’s a great place to be a working mom. Here’s my list of benefits I have found useful as a mom:
We aren’t always tied to our desks to get our work done. The company (at least in my department – Media and Technology Services), offers a lot of freedom in how we can get projects and tasks done. For the work that my team does, I can take calls with our team in India or London from home or in the office.
The ability to work from home during family emergencies has been invaluable. We have faced some health issues in my family lately, and the ability to telecommute has been a godsend. It gave me the opportunity to support my family in a way that I could not have done remotely, and our situation is much better now.
3) Supportive and encouraging manager
I’m very blessed that my manager is understanding and will help us prioritize our workload when needed.
4) Maternity leave
Many people think that maternity leave is like a vacation – it is not! But having those three months off (some of which was paid), allows new parents to take care of their little ones and adjust to a new life with less sleep.
5) Backup care with Bright Horizons
When your primary care is not available, you can drop off your child at a center knowing that they will be well taken care of. It is also nice to get a report sheet with pictures of their day. It keeps you connected to your child even when you can’t be with them.
6) United Healthcare maternity support
United, our healthcare provider, gave me access to a nurse during my pregnancies to help talk me talk through my concerns. I found this benefit helpful during my pregnancy as the nurse would take the time to explain medical terms I didn’t understand.
7) LifeCare lactation support
Viacom employees have access to a company called LifeCare, which helps connect you with resources to work through a variety of life issues. One of these is lactation support, which I found very helpful when I brought my son home and had latching issues.
8) New mother’s room
Certain Viacom offices (our Times Square headquarters, where I work, included), have private rooms equipped with refrigerators where new moms can pump and store their milk during the day. As a new mom who, having the option to utilize the rooms helped me continue breastfeeding past one year! I don’t recall my son getting sick from a cold in his first year, which I attribute largely to the fact that I was able to provide him a consistent supply of breast milk.
9) Summer Fridays
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the company has generally offered employees the option to work extra hours Monday through Thursday and gain a day or a half day off on Fridays, which allowed me to spend more time with my family during the nicest months of the year.
10) Take Your Sons and Daughter to work day
My kids are too little for this (they have to be at least 9 years old), but I was able to bring in kids from my church group in the past few years. All of the kids had a blast.
11) Kids Day
On the day before Thanksgiving every year, our Employee Events team transforms our skyscraper into a kids wonderland, with magic shows, face painting, cookie decorating, and so much more. My kids have been too little for this in the past, but my eldest son, Timothy, will be old enough to join the fun this year. Can’t wait!
12) Employee screenings
When one of our brands, especially Paramount, is rolling out a big new series or movie, employees often get a chance to view them before the general public – and we sometimes even get to take guests. This is an awesome benefit to preview movies that our company will be releasing with friends or family.
13) Travel discounts
My family loves to take cruises, and thanks to the hardworking people in the travel department, we have saved hundreds on our cruise adventures.
Overall, I really love working at Viacom. At one point I went to work for another company for a year and came back because I missed the culture here. It’s a great company that, besides being a great place to be a mom, is open to new ideas and feedback from employees. It had made the past seven years working here go by so fast. I suppose time flies when you are having fun!
Thao Nguyen is a senior software developer in Viacom’s Media and Technology Services department.