Companies With the Best Perks for Women: Philadelphia

The Best Companies for Women in Philadelphia
by Jian Sun
December 15, 2015

It may be the City of Brotherly Love, but sisters have plenty to be excited about in this historic city born from revolution and diversity.

Philadelphia is having a millennial renaissance of art, music, and hipster culture thanks to its deep roots in American history, immigration, and strength of conviction. How has the past shaped the current culture?

REVOLUTION

Our Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to discuss colony rights, declare war, and sign some important documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It’s the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps and our nation’s first library, hospital, medical school, capitol, stock exchange, zoo and business school (take that, Boston!). {click to tweet}

Founder William Penn was a Quaker who envisioned a city of great freedom and religious tolerance, which set precedence for centuries of immigration from Europe, the South (post Civil War), the Caribbean, and South East Asia. As a major center for trade, transportation, and manufacturing, immigrants flocked here to build their American dream, set down roots, and develop distinctive communities that endure today.

The cheesesteak may seem like an American tradition, but without strong Italian roots, Pat and Harry Olivieri may never have thought to combine those magical ingredients together. In fact, a quick tour of Reading Terminal Market—filled with Amish baked goods, local meats, fresh seafood, ethnic delicacies and Bassett’s Ice Cream (oldest in the country)—is a good way to appreciate the vast effects effects of immigration on American culture.

RISE LIKE A PHOENIX

Philadelphia went through a dark time of economic decline in the 1960s following the loss of manufacturing jobs and great social change, which caused a rise in poverty, crime, population loss, and bankruptcy. The city turned to the retail, financial, healthcare, and tourism industries, leaning heavily on their convenient location to DC and NYC to bolster the economy, and things finally started to look up.

Boasting a healthy startup culture throughout the city, Philadelphia also enjoys affordable housing and strong educational institutions. Large corporations (Vanguard, SAP, PwC, BNY Mellon) and successful local businesses (Comcast, Urban Outfitters, Aramark, Wawa) have also contributed to the revitalization of the economy.

Millennials priced out of big cities will appreciate the affordability and historically deep roots of Philly while also embracing the abundance of museums, sports teams (with the nation’s most aggressive fans), diverse food options, and music scene.

How do we really know Philly will be OK?

Jay-Z’s Made in America music festival is in its fourth year and going strong on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway right outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Yo Adrienne!).

TOP COMPANIES FOR WOMEN IN PHILADELPHIA

The greater metropolitan area around Philadelphia has tons of amazing companies with great perks for women, but we wanted to focus on the heart of the city. Here are the top five companies:

BROWNSTEIN GROUP

The longest-running independent advertising and PR agency in Philadelphia (est. 1964) made it onto Fortune’s 2015 “100 Best Workplaces for Women,” as well as the distinction of being on the “Best Places to Work” and “Healthiest Employer” lists by Philadelphia Business Journal. Numbers don’t lie: “The 80-employee agency is made up of 61 percent women and all but one person on its management team are women.”

The company focuses on inclusiveness, fairness, and offering the right type of support for their employees’ personal life and well-being. They show this by offering unlimited PTO to everyone (regardless of title or level), flex hours, telecommuting, and health and investment benefits.

There’s also weekly yoga classes, a softball team, volunteering opportunities with local charities and an agency bar for super-convenient happy hours.

It’s the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps and our nation’s first library, hospital, medical school, capitol, stock exchange, zoo and business school.

DUANE MORRIS

This Center City law firm with offices around the country defies your standard picture of a “boys club” type establishment. Voted as one of Working Mother’s “Best Law Firms for Women” and a “Family-Friendly” firm from Yale Law, Duane Morris’ Women’s Initiatives offers networking and mentoring opportunities to help women succeed and advance. The firm focuses on developing relationships and providing a supportive environment that promotes the growth of career and family.

Benefits range from delicious food in the employee cafeteria, flexible hours (you can work PT or FT), 4 weeks vacation, parental leave, childcare availability, and tickets to local sporting events and concerts. According to , office technology is up-to-date, the training is above par, the culture at HQ is supportive and manages to have a “big firm feel” without being “snobby.”

You want the truth?

You can’t handle the truth!

Truth: Almost half of the associates and partners in the company are women.

Irony: I just quoted A Few Good Men in a discussion about women.

PWC

As the largest professional service company, and one of the “Big Four” auditors, this diverse, London-based firm has a prime location on Market Street for their 1,400 employees. Since 2005, PwC has been voted a “Top Workplace in Philadelphia” in Fortune’s “100 Best Companies,” and has made Working Mother’s list of “Top Ten Companies for Working Mothers” since 2002. PwC has a lot to offer throughout the many stages of someone's career. 

That family-friendly, helpful, positive attitude that goes around the office tends to rub-off on the clients who shockingly enjoy hearing from their accountant.

Professionally, they offer a minimum of 60 hours of continuing education, flexible work schedules, mentoring, training, and special summits. Senior management is “clued-in” to the interests of their staff and all employees receive “well-being rewards” for exercising, eating right, going to the doctor, using public transportation, and volunteering.

Best of all might be the family benefits: 26 weeks (6 weeks paid) of parental leave with the option to extend or disperse time-off throughout the year for birth, adoption, or fostering of a child. Up to $35,000 worth of fertility benefits or treatments are possible, and up to five years leave with access to training and potential jobs.

RJMETRICS

What began as a little tech startup in an attic (garages are so last century) is now a 120-employee company in Center City that analyzes big data for online businesses like Airbnb and Chatroulette. As an up-and-coming tech company, things like a foosball table in the lounge, ergonomic desks with multiple monitors, kegerators, free lunches, unlimited PTO, lounge-y sofas, and a women’s developer book club come standard. 

Wait, what?

Yes, this tech startup holds book clubs for women and other “Girls Develop It” events. Their VP of Client Analytics Services, and a mother to a two-year-old, began a blog (#StartupParenthood) to talk about balancing parenthood in tech, using RJMetric’s own data to discuss cultural changes and attitudes. They have the standard tech (Google, Facebook, Apple) male to female ratio of 70:30, which isn’t too shabby for a small company. But more importantly, they’re empowering their employees to have important conversations, improve and lead the industry. 

Extra bonuses: 100% of medical, dental, and vision is covered by the company and expectant parents get one month of paid leave (including adoptions).

YOUR PART-TIME CONTROLLER

Don't let the slightly dated website deceive you: this isn't another boring accounting and legal company. Your Part-Time Controller made Philadelphia Business Journal's “Best Places to Work” list three years in a row, and it also works exclusively with nonprofits. What could be more satisfying than working somewhere that specializes in giving back and helping others on a mission?

Plenty.

Work/ life balance is a big deal there with a 35-hour work week, flexible schedules, generous PTO and full health benefits. Profit-sharing is available and if you work overtime, you get paid overtime. Professional development is encouraged with training opportunities and mentorship. According to Glassdoor, “new employees are assigned a mentor, someone to bounce ideas off of, a peer, not a supervisor.”

As an up-and-coming tech company, things like a foosball table in the lounge, ergonomic desks with multiple monitors, kegerators, free lunches, unlimited PTO, lounge-y sofas, and a women’s developer book club come standard.

Also, that family-friendly, helpful, positive attitude that goes around the office tends to rub-off on the clients who shockingly enjoy hearing from their accountant. Have rarer words ever been spoken?

HONORABLE MENTIONS

These companies just missed the top five, but are most certainly worth a look:

Curalate: An innovative startup, located in Center City, specializing in tracking and analyzing visual conversations (think Pinterest) that's young and fierce, while following the “work hard, play hard” mentality to the tee.

Elite SEM: Listed as a top company in the NYC City Guide, Elite SEM’s office in Center City offers smart and supportive leadership, unlimited PTO, free lunch, good compensation, and awesome colleagues.

Medical Guardian: The company that helps you when “you’ve fallen and you can’t get up” has a young, enthusiastic CEO and management team that focuses on their staff, customers, and planning the annual holiday party.

Power Home Remodeling Group: Family-owned construction, repair, and maintenance company based in nearby Chester, PA offers incentive trips and destination holiday parties in locations like Cancun, Mexico.

UPenn: Working for a glorious, riverside institution of higher learning definitely comes with its benefits, including amazing tuition reimbursement, homeowner incentives, and daycare options.

PSYCHIC PREDICTIONS

The job market is on the upswing and so is Philadelphia. If you live there—congratulations! If you don’t and are looking for the next hip scene, check out the City of Brotherly Love. It’ll give you some love back. 

This is a part of our City Guides series. Where should we go next? 

Images (Top to Bottom): 1. Brownstein Office perks: yoga on the roof via Instagram. | 2. RJMetrics via Glassdoor | 3. Team lunch at Curalate via Instagram