Best tech companies for working parents

Work-life balance means something very different for a recent college graduate than for working parents. The eager 20-something may be able to get by with barebones benefits and endless hours at the office; the mom or dad with kids at home, not so much.

Facebook seems to have the right mix of benefits to appeal to the latter.

The Menlo Park social media company ranked No. 1 on a recent list of best tech companies for working parents compiled by Glassdoor for SFGate. It got a score of 4.8 out of 5, based on feedback from employees. Facebook employees praised the company’s maternity and paternity leave policy, as well as the perks enjoyed by all employees.

“4 months maternity/paternity leave, fully paid, even if you just started at Facebook when your child is born,” a Facebook data engineer wrote.

On the other hand, Facebook’s leadership seems to prefer younger talent. Or, at least they did in 2007. That year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed the “importance of being young and technical” to a Y Combinator group at Stanford University.

‘”Young people are just smarter,” he said. “Why are most chess masters under 30? I don’t know. Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family. Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what’s important.”

The New York Times recently looked at the work-life balance struggles faced by Silicon Valley tech workers who also happen to be parents. Startups don’t have parent policies because they’re too busy growing, Claire Cain Miller wrote, while larger firms are more focused on helping new parents than changing the company culture. And they expect dedication.

“People who give you millions of dollars for nothing but an idea at the very least expect your complete commitment to that idea,” Glenn Helman, chief executive of Redfin, told Miller.

For this report, SFGate asked Glassdoor to look through its benefit reviews to see how major tech companies in the Bay Area and beyond compare in terms of flexible hours, child care, maternity and paternity leave policy, work from home policy and more. Glassdoor looked at companies with 20 or more benefit reviews. Its data was pulled April 23.

How are the benefits at your company? Have you tried to balance raising a family with working long hours in the tech sector? Tell us about it in the comments.

Julie Balise