Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company. Its mission statement: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. In 2005, founder Yvon Chouinard wrote a book called Let my People Go Surfing, imploring his employees to have a rich life beyond work, and to care about more than profits. Patagonia is one of the first American companies to offer on-site child care. It is run by very well-trained teachers, parents often eat lunch with their kids, take them to the farmer’s market or pick vegetables with them in the “secret” garden. Field trips to the beach, library and horse rescue center are common, as is cooking in the “messy kitchen”. Patagonia buses school-aged kids back to the company’s headquarters, allowing parents to connect with them after school. Parents who need to travel for work can bring a nanny, a partner or a teacher with them at the company’s expense. Mothers have full access to their infants, and nursing in meetings is natural. Under CEO Rose Marcario’s leadership, 100 percent of the company's working mothers have returned to work after giving birth. Marcario believes that employer-operated child care facilities are the answer to getting more women on company boards and in CEO positions: “It’s a natural outcome of providing this kind of support, not just to working moms but to working dads too,” she said.
POLICIES WE LOVE: On-site child care, Culture of respect for a life beyond work.
Learn more: Patagonia