Best Places to Work in IT 2009 Employer Profile

No. 31

Discover Financial Services

Riverwoods, Ill. [North Central]

Why you want to work there

Team dynamics are up and stress levels are down at this Riverwoods, Ill.-based financial services firm, according to an internal survey of participants in the company's new "hoteling" telework program. Eligible employees can spend at least 50% of their week working remotely, and they "reserve" workstations to use on the days when they come into the office. While working remotely, employees communicate with teammates and customers through instant messaging, collaboration software and IP-enabled phone software. The program helps to reduce commuting hours, increase the level of customer service and enhance employee work-life balance. IT staff members can also take advantage of flexible scheduling and a summer hours program. As part of the standard benefits package, employees receive 25 days of paid time off. At Discover headquarters outside of Chicago, where the majority of IT staffers work, the 80-acre campus boasts a 1.8-mile running trail and outdoor basketball and volleyball courts. Campus buildings are connected via an enclosed, climate-controlled skyway that connects with Discover's Raymond A. Kennedy Pavilion, which houses a 19,000-square-foot fitness center with 116 pieces of equipment and an 800-seat cafeteria that has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a pond. The campus has a full-time nurse and an on-site pharmacy and drugstore. Other perks include free wellness screenings, an ATM, dry cleaning services, a package mailing service, classified ads on the company intranet and a dollar-an-hour chair massage service provided by a certified massage therapist two days a week.

Read more about this Best Place to Work.

Rank by company size:
Large, No. 20

Employee Statistics

Total U.S.-based employees: 11,793

Total U.S.-based IT employees: 1,310

IT employee turnover in 2008: 9%

IT promotions in 2008: 12%


Training days offered per IT employee in 2008: 3

Training budget per IT employee in 2008: $1,160

Women in IT

Total percentage of women within IT: 34%

Percentage of IT managers who are women: 38%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are women: 34%

Minorities in IT

Total percentage of minorities within IT: 27%

Percentage of IT managers who are minorities: 11%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are minorities: 30%