Duke Recognized as Family-Friendly Employer

Carolina Parenting names Duke to Family-Friendly 50 List for the 14th consecutive year

Duke University and Duke University Health System has been named to Carolina Parenting's Family-Friendly 50 List for the 14th consecutive year.

For the 14th year in a row, Carolina Parenting has named Duke University and Duke University Health System to its list of the top 50 family-friendly employers in North Carolina.

The recognition celebrates companies and institutions that help their employees maintain work-life balance.

“That commitment to family is something important to honor and share,” said Brenda Larson, publisher of Carolina Parent. “Employees who work at companies like this feel valued and feel that their employers care as much about their family lives as what they do on the job.”

Duke, which will be included in the September issue of Carolina Parent magazine, was recognized for its Employee Tuition Assistance Program, which provides reimbursement to employees, as well as the on-site child care subsidy for lower income families and three-week parental leave benefit that also is available to new fathers.

“We are grateful to be recognized by Carolina Parent as being one of the top family-friendly employers in North Carolina,” said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration. “Duke remains steadfastly committed to the overall well-being of our faculty and staff.”

With 35,000 employees, Duke offers benefits that address a host of family issues, such as the need for quality child care, health insurance for dependents and financial security in retirement. Duke also offers benefits to same-sex couples and their dependents.

Jeannine Sato, who works within Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy as the director of Durham Connects nurse home visiting program, has worked at Duke nearly seven years. She testified in July before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families about the benefits of paid family leave.

Sato said she noticed that through Durham Connects, a program that provides free in-home nurse visits to parents of newborns in Durham County, many parents were quickly returning to work after the birth of their child.

She recalled her experience with a previous employer that did not provide maternity leave after the birth of her first child.

“When I came to Duke, it was just a really different environment where I felt supported and my boss was congratulatory when I was pregnant,” she said about her second experience with her son, Kenji. “I felt very supported from day one.”

Through Duke, she took 12 weeks off, and most of the days were paid through parental leave, sick days and vacation days. She also had a flexible work environment that allowed her to go home to breastfeed or pump milk.

Duke also was recognized for its Employee Tuition Assistance Program, which provides tuition reimbursement for a maximum of three classes per semester or quarter, up to $5,250 per calendar year, for full-time employees with at least two years of continuous full-time service.

Megan Tisdale, a student services officer in the Duke School of Law, is starting classes this fall as a new student in the Duke Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program. Having worked at Duke for six years, she said she hopes the writing, reading and research focus of the program will enhance her career skills.

“I feel like this is a new chapter in my life as a Blue Devil,” Tisdale said. “With that benefit out there and knowing how amazing the Duke faculty are, all the opportunities that are available just for academic pursuits is worth a degree to me.”

For the full list of family-friendly employers, see here.