Goldman Sachs and American Express are among the leading companies for working parents in 2024, new study shows

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Working parents, guardians or caretakers know the challenge of striking the delicate balance between work and care responsibilities.

From paid parental leave to quality health-care coverage and equal pay that cover child care costs, it’s become a priority for workers to find an employer that recognizes parents have specific needs.

With no federal oversight of workplace benefits like paid leave and caregiving policies, corporate leaders are being asked to take the lead.

CNBC partner Just Capital looked through policy disclosures at America’s largest companies to find the best in the country at meeting these needs.

“Americans are very clear about what they believe companies should prioritize: their workers,” said Alison Omens, president of Just Capital.

Top companies for parents

Goldman Sachs, American Express, Deckers Outdoor, S&P Global and Splunk are the top companies for parents in 2024, according to Just Capital’s research.

All five companies offer the following benefits: 20 or more weeks of paid parental leave for both primary and secondary caregivers; parental leave parity for all caregivers; and backup subsidized dependent care for their employees.

“What the pandemic uncovered and remains true today, is that for working parents, particularly for mothers who disproportionately provide caregiving, a key part is their paid parental leave,” said Omens.

S&P Global offers paid parental leave policies of 26 weeks. Company employees and married couple, Lauren and Mario Washington, told CNBC that taking parental leave together after welcoming their second daughter in 2021 had a profound impact on their family’s dynamic and well-being.

“Those initial weeks seem fleeting, but they tangibly enhanced our family’s balance and relationship,” Lauren said. “Mario’s involvement helped our oldest daughter adjust from being an only child to a big sister and help me focus on nurturing our newborn and my own recovery.”

The human resources profession, however, takes a different view regarding the impact of parental leaves on business. The more “direct cost,” according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), is an employee’s pay over the course of the number of weeks that they are on leave. SHRM argues that employers already have salaries factored into budgets.

The “indirect costs” are the loss of productivity during an employee’s leave, temporary replacement and cost of administering a paid leave program.

“Paid parental leave is an expensive proposition,” said Yvette Lee, an HR knowledge advisor at SHRM. “But turnover of key talent may be even more costly.”

Lee said the investment in paid parental leave and similar policies may make sense in the long run.

Many companies have introduced measures to ensure equity in the workplace for all employees.

Deckers Outdoor is targeting gender parity in leadership positions by 2030, and Goldman Sachs has set a hiring goal for women in both entry-level and senior management positions to reach 50% and 40%, respectively.

“We invest in our success as a company by investing in our people,” said a spokesperson for S&P Global.

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