Largest ever study of working parents finds Best Places to Work

Spoiler alert: Companies that provide better benefits and greater flexibility to working parents are seeing a return on their investment, according to Great Place to Work’s Annual Study of the Best Workplaces for Parents.

COVID-19 changed the way we work, perhaps for good. Remote working policies that focus on greater flexibility and different ways of measuring productivity have emerged since the pandemic forced many employers to reassess what it takes to engage workers. This is particularly true when it comes to measuring the contributions of working parents (particularly women), many of whom are juggling remote learning for their kids in addition to their own responsibilities.

Polling over 400,000 working parents, Great Place to Work’s data science team analyzed data from the workers who answered more than 60 questions on its Trust Index survey to come up with a list of current best employers for working parents. In addition to that, they measured written phrases and demographics to reveal why some parents experience a more positive work environment. The results make a strong business case for employers who support working parents. Among the highlighted findings from the report:

  • Companies that invest in employees and their families see 5.5 times more revenue growth thanks to greater innovation,
    higher talent retention, and increased productivity.
  • When working parents experience positive company culture, their organizations gain more than double the number of employees ready to innovate than their competitors which translates to revenue
  • When companies reduce burnout, their employees are 20x more likely to stay.
  • The Best Workplaces are thinking beyond maternity leave to provide benefits ranging from fertility coverage to return-to-work coaching to support finding child care.

Additionally, 93% of working men without children and 93% of working women without children who work for a company that invests in its working parent population say theirs is a great place to work. Eighty-nine percent of all workers at the best places for working parents say they want to remain there for a long time.

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SUNY and unions agree to routine coronavirus testing in nation’s largest college system

Syracuse, N.Y. — Agreements struck between the State University of New York chancellor and the school system’s unions mean that all staff and faculty will receive free and routine coronavirus tests through June 2021.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced the agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association today. The deal mirrors an agreement struck last week between SUNY and its other main union, United University Professions.

“Regular mandated testing will continue to be a part of our strategy to keep campuses open,” Malatras said in a statement about the country’s largest system of higher education in the nation. “Thanks to the continued heroic efforts, ingenuity, and innovation of Upstate Medical University, we must continue testing everyone on campus.”

The testing for CSEA workers will be on par with that of students, according to SUNY.

This semester SUNY has conducted 544,190 COVID-19 tests with a positivity rate of 0.52 percent. Most SUNY students are finishing classes and finals remotely, according to the state.

All returning students will be required to submit test results before spring semester begins.

SUNY includes 64 campuses, including SUNY Upstate Medical University, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Cortland and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

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Megalodon nurseries reveal world’s largest shark had a soft side

The enormous, extinct shark Megalodon probably doesn’t make you think of parenting and playdates. But a growing body of evidence suggests that these massive marine predators nurtured their babies by raising them in nurseries, and scientists just added five potential Megalodon nurseries to the list. 



a bird flying over a body of water: Megalodon, the biggest predatory shark of all time, watched over its young as many modern sharks do — by raising them in defined geographic areas known as nurseries.


© Provided by Live Science
Megalodon, the biggest predatory shark of all time, watched over its young as many modern sharks do — by raising them in defined geographic areas known as nurseries.

These baby-shark grounds are showing up all over. Scientists reported in 2010 that they had identified a Megalodon nursery in Panama. Recently, another team of researchers described a new Megalodon nursery site in northeastern Spain; fossils of fully grown sharks and youngsters were found together, with most of the fossils belonging to juveniles and newborns. 

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Those same scientists also analyzed data from eight other sites — from 16 million to 3 million years ago — where Otodus megalodon fossils were plentiful. They evaluated the body sizes of individual sharks to determine the ratio of juveniles to adults, and named four additional nursery sites. 

The results suggest that Megalodon adults commonly raised their young in nursery areas, where the wee shark babies would be protected until they were able to fend for themselves against other ocean predators. It also raises the possibility that the decline of available nursery sites may have contributed to the giant shark’s extinction, according to a new study.

Related: Photos: These animals used to be giants

O. megalodon is estimated to have measured up to 50 feet (15 meters) in length, making it the biggest predatory shark that ever lived. Most Megalodon fossils date to about 15 million years ago, and the giant fish vanished from the fossil record about 2.6 million years ago.

Today, many modern sharks raise their young in nurseries. Waters near northern Patagonia’s Buenos Aires province hold a nursery for several shark species, and a nursery of sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) in Long Island’s Great South Bay hosts juvenile sharks that live there until they are 4 or 5 years old. And the oldest known shark nursery is more than 200 million years old, according to fossilized egg cases found alongside shark “baby teeth” that are just 0.04 inches (1 millimeter) long, Live Science previously reported.

For the new study, the researchers investigated 25 teeth belonging to O. megalodon  from the Reverté and Vidal quarries in Spain’s Tarragona province. They used tooth crown height to estimate body size and to identify which of the sharks were babies; very young sharks — likely about one month old — that measured about 13 feet (4 m) long, and older juveniles measured up to 36 feet (11 m) in length. 

The scientists then used algorithms to model and compare the ratio of O. megalodon juveniles to adults at eight other sites across “a wide geographical area” that included the Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific basins. They determined five potential nurseries “with higher densities of

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