CATHERINE FOX WAS READY TOchoose her family over her job—and
this was not a choice she wanted to make.
It was six months after her first daughter was born
in 1998. Her baby had colic, suffering from abdominal
pain and intestinal swelling. The child cried all night.
“I needed to be with her,” says Fox, who had just
joined General Mills as an assistant marketing manager, taking a demotion to go there because of the company’s reputation for progressive work/life policies.
“I was concerned [supervisors] would think I wasn’t
interested in my career anymore,” says Fox, whose fears
were dismissed when her supervisor responded positive-
BY YOJI COLE
ILLUSTRATIONS BY FIONA KING
ly to her request to drop one day of work. She now is
the marketing manager for Bakeries and Food Service.
As General Mills demonstrated, companies that
help their employees succeed in their personal lives
attract and retain top talent and create loyal and
engaged employees. Most companies among The
2006 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity®
help employees achieve professional and personal
goals through nurturing benefits such as the ability to
work at home, adoption assistance, flexible hours and
In addition, several Top 50 companies provide
further growth through proven strategies that connect
directly with employees: senior-level interaction, professional development, employee wellness and
advanced work/life. Here are some best practices.
WHAT IS IT? Senior managers must develop employees
and be held accountable for their professional success. Senior-level support is about “dialogue and
deeds,” says Chris Simmons, chief diversity officer for