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January 24 2012

Big, Bad Bain Makes Feminist's Top 100 List

Sabrina Schaeffer


Working Mother  (WM), a traditional feminist magazine, recently posted it’s top 100 best companies to work for – identified as those businesses with the most family-friendly benefits like flextime, telecommuting and shared jobs. In the midst of this heated Republican primary campaign, I was amused to find that the big, bad barracuda Bain Capital was among WM’s top companies.

As I wrote in the run-up to the New Hampshire primary, making Romney out to be a Wall Street baron who preys on working Americans was not only a failed political strategy (GOP primary voters don’t take kindly to populism), but also a one-dimensional view of Bain Capital and free markets. As is too often the case, there is a tendency to see large corporations only in a negative light – certainly this is the case with Wal-Mart, which is frequently scorned despite its progressive workplace environment.

According to WM, the same can be said for Bain Capital, where “creative work arrangements are a hallmark of this management consulting firm.” Despite what feminists love to claim – that women need gender protection laws in order to ensure they have equal opportunities in the workplace – WM suggests that at Bain “women may reduce their schedules by 40% and still be considered for promotions.” In fact, they add, “most of the female partners here have worked part-time.”

To be fair, the act of buying up failing companies, as Bain does – with the understanding that many employees will be laid off – may make people uncomfortable. However, perhaps too much attention has been focused on Bain’s “destructive” qualities and not enough on how it’s created an environment that better allows women – and men – to balance work and family.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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