On the Job

Kudos for Women's Web Site<@VM>U. Md. to Study IT Retention<@VM>Benefit Plans Get Specific

by Gail Repsher Emergy

The Womens Executive Network, the first Web-based recruitment and career development company to focus on women, won a best startup award from the journal Women's Business this fall.

The network offers professional women confidential job searches and career development resources such as mentoring programs, executive coaching, networking and career advancement advice.

Amy Glynn, chief executive officer and founder of the South Boston company, won the Women's Business Hall of Fame 2000 Startup award from the journal.

Since its launch last year, the firm has garnered 7,000 members and 40 corporate sponsors, including as Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Deloitte Consulting. Its Web site (www.thewen.com) has more than 1,000 job listings from about 100 companies, including Microsoft and Cambridge Technology Partners.Researchers at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in College Park recently won a three-year, $673,959 grant to study the retention of IT workers.

The researchers will focus on underrepresented groups in the IT workplace, particularly women and minorities. The study will begin early next year. It will explore compensation, relationships at work, career development opportunities and interaction among members of IT organizations.The Labor Department late last month issued a rule that directs benefit plans to include more specific information in written descriptions sent to employees.

The rule requires summary plan descriptions to include the following:

? Cost sharing provisions;

? Annual or lifetime caps or other limits on benefits;

? The extent to which preventive services are covered;

? Provisions governing the use of out-of-network providers;

? Circumstances under which coverage is provided for medical tests, devices and procedures.

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