Five Wisconsin companies named best workplaces for women

Acuity, Baird, West Bend Mutual make Fortune list

Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.'s headquarters is in the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee.

Fortune magazine has named five Wisconsin companies—three of them in the Milwaukee area, to its 2016 list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Women in the country.

Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.'s headquarters is in the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee.
Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s headquarters is in the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee.

This is the second year Fortune has created the list, which ranks companies with generous benefits, flexible schedules and an emphasis on work-life balance. Surveys of employees at Fortune’s Great Place to Work companies, as well as those companies’ representation of women, determine the top firms. This year, 137,762 women at Great Place to Work companies gave feedback.

Sheboygan-based Acuity Insurance was ranked No. 44 for making its 1,110 employees feel valued and providing many benefits. The company employs 53 percent women.

An Acuity employee is quoted as saying: “Acuity goes above and beyond to make all their employees feel they are special and responsible for the success of the company. They provide many company functions: lunches, happy hours, a chocolate fair, a fantastic company picnic, Christmas baskets, etc. This list goes on and on.”

West Bend-based West Bend Mutual Insurance was ranked No. 95 because of the extensive training and development, as well as its open-door policy. West Bend has 1,154 U.S. employees, 62 percent of whom are women.

A West Bend employee is quoted as saying: “The culture is one of hard work and accountability balanced perfectly with fun and recognition. Members of senior leadership are visible, involved, approachable and down-to-earth. They understand the value of recognition and make sure associates are acknowledged and rewarded (in many different ways) for their contributions. They treat everyone with respect and drive that throughout the organization. Work/life balance is also important and encouraged.”

Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. was ranked No. 96 on the list. It was singled out for its flat, entrepreneurial, team culture and environment of mutual respect and support. It has 3,058 U.S. employees, 40 percent of whom are women.

A Baird employee was quoted as saying: “Baird has a way of making you feel as though you are part of a team. You are treated as if you are equal to everyone, no matter what your position is. People are genuine, and always supportive and grateful of your efforts. You don’t find that caliber of people just anywhere. Baird does an outstanding job of bringing talented and professional people here.”

From Wisconsin, Oshkosh’s 4Imprint and Appleton’s Secura Insurance were also on list.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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