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What Women Want? Perks and Flexibility

And these are some of the San Diego companies doing it best, with work-from-home days, elder care, on-site gyms, sabbaticals, pet insurance, and more perks you never knew existed
Illustration: Shutterstock

By Archana Ram

Arista MD

The La Jolla healthcare technology company makes patient care more flexible with e-consultations, and they’re all about flexibility for their employees, too. Full-timers get unlimited vacation days and can work from home and/or use flex hours as needed (some employees get to work at 7 a.m. so they can leave in the early afternoon to pick up their kids), and most of the office works from home on Fridays. On-site perks include a gym with a trainer-led boot camp twice a week, weekly free lunches, and a fridge stocked with La Croix sparkling water.

Modern Times

Last year the local craft beer and coffee brand became employee owned, meaning staffers get equity in the rapidly growing company—see outposts opening soon in Anaheim and Santa Barbara. Add to that unlimited vacation—their website boasts, “If you kick ass at your job, we trust you to manage your time responsibly”—health coverage that includes pet insurance, and a paid two-month sabbatical for employees who’ve been with the company at least five years. And the destination doesn’t necessarily have to tie into hospitality. One employee used theirs to take a six-week camping trip through national parks and Canada. And yes, everyone gets free drinks—a pint of beer or coffee on workdays—plus two four-packs, a bomber, and a 64-ounce growler each week, as well a $250 gift card annually.


Babysitter cancel? Kids unexpectedly home from school? There’s a program at Qualcomm for that. The Back-Up Care Advantage Program gives employees access to a network of caregivers and childcare centers who can coordinate last-minute arrangements seven days per calendar year for children or elders. Rates are $25 per child at the center, or $8 per hour for in-home care. The company also supports adoptive parents; eligible employees can be reimbursed up to $15,000 for fees related to adoption or surrogacy. For long-term needs, they partner with Bright Horizons preschool on a CareDirect program, which helps find babysitters, elder care resources, and even dog walkers.


Sure, you can bring your dog, cat, or snake into the office—it’s encouraged!—but the Rancho Bernardo-based company also offers telecommuting with computer equipment and supplies provided, flex hours if salaried employees need to come in late or leave early, and an on-site women’s empowerment program with resources like professional headshot photography, public speaking workshops, and community service opportunities.

Want a flexible work life? Rally for flexibility at

What Women Want? Perks and Flexibility

Illustration: Shutterstock

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