On June 5, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Chicago Regional Section presented Argonne National Laboratory with its 2014 Golden Family Award. The award recognizes an organization that best supports families in the workplace.
Argonne has more than 3,500 full-time employees and provides research facilities for more than 6,500 users from around the world. The lab works to meet the needs of its diverse workforce by supporting policies and practices that help provide a satisfying work-life balance while meeting a broad spectrum of individual needs.
“The lab’s work-life balance and family-friendly policies help us recruit and retain the best talent in the world,” said Laboratory Director Peter B. Littlewood. “Argonne’s mission is to address vital national challenges in clean energy, environment, technology and national security. To meet these challenges, we need the brightest and best engineers and scientists from around the globe. Of course these individuals have lives outside of work, and we want to be sure they have the resources and flexibility they need so they can achieve a positive balance and continue to excel and be productive at work.”
The lab’s work-life balance practices include alternate work schedule and telecommuting options, as well as military and maternity leave, and lactation rooms for nursing mothers. The lab also has a Child Development Center on site that employees can enroll their children in, a 24-hour fitness center and employee-led clubs that meet nearly every interest.
“Happy engineers and scientists are productive engineers and scientists,” said Littlewood. “Beyond that, it’s just good business to treat people well. Argonne is known as a destination of choice for researchers due foremost to our world-class scientific facilities, and word is getting around that we are a family-friendly organization, as well.”
The laboratory also provides its employees with mentoring and professional development opportunities to help grow individuals and their careers. Information about careers at Argonne is available online.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.