Patagonia: This is what work-life balance looks like at a company with 100% retention of moms



For 33 years Patagonia has had an on-site child care center that bears little resemblance to what anyone might imagine corporate on-site child care looks like. It is run by teachers, some of whom are bilingual and trained in child development. Learning takes place outdoors as much as in. Parents often eat lunch with their kids, take them to the farmer’s market or pick vegetables with them in the “secret” garden. Patagonia buses school-aged kids back to the company’s headquarters, allowing parents to connect with them after school over chocolate milk…

The child care program was not put in place to fight the war for talent, or because its executives wanted to fix the leaky pipeline of women leaving before reaching senior management levels. When Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s iconic founder, and his wife Malinda started the company, their employees were friends and family and they wanted to support them as they worked, and started their families. “It lets you be the kind of parent you want to be.”

Story length: 2,937 words

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