Last week, Fortune released its annual 100 Best Companies to Work For list. The list honors the most “heroic companies supporting their people and communities in the U.S. during this historically challenging year.” We’re pleased to report that several retailers made this year’s list. Here’s a look at the companies included, including their overall ranking.
#4 Wegmans Food Markets
#24 Nugget Market
#42 Publix Super Markets
#69 Burlington Stores
One of the statistics Fortune factors into its ranking is the percentage of women employees at each company. Some of the retailers featured above have impressing ratios of women employees, such as Wegmans with 54.2 percent, Sheetz with 58.6 percent, and Burlington Stores with 74.9 percent. This is especially reassuring to see in a year when so many women have been forced to leave the workforce due to COVID-19.
Another criteria that Fortune considered when creating its list was how companies helped employees through the unprecedented times, putting people over profits. For example, Target took steps to prevent its female employees from joining the 5 million women who lost their jobs in 2020. The retailer introduced new employee benefits, such as unlimited backup care, company-paid in-home or daycare coverage, and even tutoring help for employees’ children who were attending school virtually. Benefits like these help employees, especially women who often take on family care burdens, balance their professional and personal lives.
The grocery chain Wegmans also took steps this past year to protect and support its employees, especially essential workers who have been on the front lines during the pandemic. The company released paid COVID-19 sick and quarantine leave for employees, as well as job-protected unpaid leave for those who felt unsafe going to work. Wegmans has never had a layoff, and it avoided doing so in 2020 by retraining workers from certain departments, such as cafés, for new tasks.
It’s also impressive that Burlington Stores made the list considering it didn’t have an e-commerce site during a year when so many Americans exclusively shopped online. However, Burlington made it work and protected its employees. The retailer paid employees who got sick from COVID-19 up to two weeks’ pay while they quarantined. Also, as stores began to reopen, Burlington brought back its furloughed employees and restored their pay to what they were earning pre-layoff.