The way business operated continued to transform in a year marked by profound challenges of a persistent pandemic, but amidst it all, there was a return of hope as quarantines lifted and a reconfiguration of office structures emerged that included the long-term adoption of remote teams.
This year’s Worklife Awards winners capture responses and new directions, and exemplify how companies worked to adapt to these changes and more. The organizations the judges have selected adjusted to a series of new norms across 2021, even as they sustained commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion across their teams and sought new avenues for bringing wellness into their day-to-day working culture.
For example, Audible put growth in the center of the conversation across several career stages. Its Future Leaders program offered high school students paid internships to gain meaningful professional experience, then supported them at the next juncture with its Audible Scholars program, providing participants additional aid and guaranteed jobs during school breaks. For mid-career professionals, the company’s Next Chapter Returnship program supported mid-career professionals, offering hands-on training and mentoring programs for local individuals who have taken a year or more off from their careers, many for caregiving.
Meanwhile, Buzzer made the judge’s list this year thanks to its ongoing investment in culture — a decision that has influenced the company’s product roadmap, partnerships and employee recruitment tactics. Buzzer launched its Strive Impact Program to provide more opportunities for people of color via career-focused sessions with HBCU students and partnerships with InHerSight, WomenWhoCode, Werkzy and Colorwave to reach diverse talent.
Vox’s leadership placed family at the center of its workplace policies, unlocking access and adding progressive programs to support intending and active parents. The company’s Parent Employee Resource Group has played a pivotal role in shaping a culture that understands the challenges of parenting — particularly while working from home. The ERG shares information and develops programs with executive sponsors President Pam Wasserstein and Jacqueline Cinguina, senior vice president of Marketing. Primary and secondary caregivers get 16 weeks of parental leave, plus unlimited PTO for pandemic-related childcare time
In this guide, all of the winners are in the spotlight. See the winners below and explore the complete guide to learn how each program worked and what company leaders everywhere can learn from the programs that won in 2021.