Seventy percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in today's workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In a tight labor market, it's a great time for companies to focus on creating work environments that empower working parents.
Each year, Working Mother magazine releases a list of the 100 Best Companies for working mothers. To make the cut, companies submit an application that includes more than 400 questions about leave policies, workforce representation, benefits, childcare assistance, advancement programs and flexibility. The application also inquires about whether employees are actually taking advantage of a company's benefits.
"That all of these programs and policies are offered is just half of it," Working Mother President Subha Barry tells CNBC Make It. "The other half is that you encourage people to use it, and don't penalize them."