The Families and Work Institute released yesterday the results of the 2008 National Study of Employers. A key finding: employers with more women and more minorities in top positions, and nonprofit organizations, are more likely to offer flexible workplaces.

“There has been surprising stability in many of the practices, policies and programs of U.S. employers over the past 10 years,” said Ellen Galinsky, president and founder of Families and Work Institute and lead author of the study. “The NSE confirms that in the face of economic volatility companies have generally held steady or reduced benefits that carry hard costs. Yet in certain areas — including domestic partner benefits and access to information on support services — we are seeing an expansion of benefits. We find it particularly interesting that having an employee base composed of a greater percentage of women, or the presence of women and minorities in senior positions, is correlated with a more flexible workplace.”

First conducted in 1998, the 2008 National Study of Employers is described as “the most comprehensive and far-reaching study of initiatives provided by U.S. employers to address the changing needs of today’s workforce.”

An article in this morning’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Study: Fewer monetary benefits, more flexibility at work,” says:

While employers are slashing benefits to save money, they are using other tactics to try to retain workers, according to a study that will be released today in Philadelphia.

In its “2008 National Study of Employers” the Families and Work Institute found that employees are more likely to stay with on the job if employers provide flexibility in the workplace.

The study also found that while employers are dealing with the faltering economy by cutting benefits, such as health care and pensions, that directly take away from the bottom line, programs that cost money but improve the quality of life at the workplace, such as on-site child care, are not being reduced.

The study will be presented today at the World at Work Conference in Philadelphia.

by Rob Jewell