Patagonia Named a Working Mother 100 Best by Working Mother Magazine

Working Mother magazine today announced that Patagonia is a 2006 Working Mother 100 Best Company. Patagonia placed 7th on the list of 100 companies this year, bringing the company to a total of 16 rankings on the prestigious list.
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Ventura, CA (September 25, 2006)—Working Mother magazine today announced that Patagonia is a 2006 Working Mother 100 Best Company. Patagonia placed 7th on the list of 100 companies this year, bringing the company to a total of 16 rankings on the prestigious list. For 21 years the Working Mother 100 Best Companies has celebrated employers whose groundbreaking benefits—from flexible schedules and child care to innovative leave policies for new parents—are helping redefine workplace standards across the nation.

'It's truly an honor to be on the Working Mother 100 Best Companies List and cited in an elite group as one of the Working Mother Top Ten Best Companies. At Patagonia, we're not bound by convention. Our family-friendly programs are guided by our uncommon culture, and revolve around the company's focus on work-life balance, care for the environment, product innovation and the pursuit of ever-greater quality in everything that we do," noted Mona Patel, Patagonia's Chief Legal Officer, who oversees Human Resources and Family Services.

Patagonia's unique benefits and work/life culture – including an on-site childcare facility, flexible work schedules, women's advancement, paid maternity and paternity leaves, job sharing and more, contributed to this year's high ranking. Last year, Patagonia was placed in Working Mother's Hall of Fame for placing on the prestigious list over 15 times.

“I congratulate Patagonia helping its working mother employees balance the demands of their work and home lives,” said Suzanne Riss, Editor-in-Chief of Working Mother magazine. “Patagonia recognizes that outstanding family-friendly programs not only improve employees' lives but also give the company leverage in its ability to attract and retain top talent.”

Profiled in the October issue of Working Mother magazine, Patagonia is celebrated for creating a work environment that is especially hospitable to all women, including working mothers. In making family-friendly policies the norm, the 100 Best are creating corporate cultures that encourage the retention and promotion of their female employees.

“Being on the “Top Ten” list is significant for all of us at Patagonia because it formally recognizes the commitment we have to helping everyone effectively balance their lives inside and outside the company walls,” noted Shannon Ellis, Patagonia's Director of Human Resources, “Being a working mother myself, I can't tell you how much I value the opportunity to grow professionally, while, at the same time, be respected for the responsibilities I have with my family.”

In surveying the companies that applied for this year's list, Working Mother gave particular weight to questions in two areas: flexible scheduling, the most critical benefit for working mothers; and leave time, because it is essential for parents to be able to take time off from work, whether it is several months to bond with newborns or several years to be at home with children during their most formative years.

Methodology: To apply for the Working Mother 100 Best, Patagonia provided Working Mother magazine with detailed information on seven areas of work/life balance including workforce profile, compensation, child care, flexibility, time off and leaves, family-friendly programs and company culture. Patagonia completed a 500+-question application, the most rigorous of its kind, which checked the availability, tracking and usage of programs to support working mothers, the accountability of managers to implement programs and the successful advancement of women into top paying jobs, board position and management ranks. Patagonia was also required to submit benefits handbooks and supporting documentation.

The complete list of the 2006 Working Mother 100 Best Companies can be found at www.workingmother.com.

Patagonia, with sales last year of $260M, is noted internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism. Its Environmental Grants Program has contributed over $25M to grassroots environmental activists since the program began in 1985, and its Environmental Internship Program allows employees to work for environmental groups while receiving their full paycheck. Incorporating environmental responsibility in to product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically-grown cotton in its clothing line, and is noted world-wide for using recycled soda bottles in many of its polyester fleece garments.

Contact: Jen Rapp, (805) 667-4768, jen_rapp@patagonia.com
259 West Santa Clara Street, Ventura, Calif. 93001
www.patagonia.com

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