The challenge of successfully combining the demands of family and career may be easing for women scientists in industry. With increasing numbers of women opting to work in private- sector research laboratories--and in the wake of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993--many firms have revamped maternity-leave policies to better accommodate new parenthood and the transition back to work. The recently enacted federal law ensures workers in companies with 50 or more employees 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave with continuing health benefits to enable them to care for a new child or an ill family member--or for themselves, should they be the ones to fall sick.

Genetics Institute, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.:
  • 8 weeks' paid maternity lveave; then some combination of vacation and unpaid leave
  • 3 days' paternity leave
  • Adoption assistance program
  • "Parents in a Pinch" emergency day care
  • Child-care reimbursement for overnight company travel

    Genzyme Corp., Cambridge, Mass.:...

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