Best Places to Work in IT 2011 Employer Profile

No. 35

Discover Financial Services

Riverwoods, Ill. [North Central]

Why you want to work there

This Riverwoods, Ill.-based financial services firm emphasizes work/life balance. The company has successfully implemented a "hoteling" telework program that enables employees to balance the demands of the office and home while working seamlessly from either. While working remotely, employees communicate with co-workers and customers through instant messaging, collaboration software and IP-enabled phone software. Twenty-eight percent of IT employees currently participate in the program. Cool campus At Discover's headquarters, where the majority of IT staffers are based, employees enjoy an 80-acre campus with a 1.7-mile running trail and outdoor basketball and volleyball courts. Buildings on the campus just outside of Chicago are connected by a climate-controlled enclosed skyway, and the skyway provides access to the company's Raymond A. Kennedy Pavilion, which houses a 19,000-square-foot fitness center and a cafeteria that seats 800 and features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a pond. In the cafeteria, selections at cooked-to-order stations include Asian, Mexican, Indian and Italian cuisine, plus grilled fare. Other options include sushi, sandwich and salad bars, a made-to-order pasta station and pizza. Breakfast and lunch are served daily. For employees who need a quick meal or a snack, there are two shops that offer select breakfast, lunch and snack items. The shops also sell greeting cards and stamps. The campus has a full-time physician's assistant and offers free wellness screenings. Other services include dry cleaning, package mailing, intranet classified ads and chair massages provided by a certified massage therapist. Wireless networks are available throughout the campus, so employees can choose to work in cubicles or at desks with their peers, or at one of the many alternative locations that are furnished with high-top tables, couches or cafe-style seating.

Rank by company size:
Large, No. 22

Employee Statistics

Total U.S.-based employees: 10,320

Total U.S.-based IT employees: 1,130

IT employee turnover in 2010: 3%

IT promotions in 2010: 12%


Training days offered per IT employee in 2010: 2

Training budget per IT employee in 2010: $1,003

Women in IT

Total percentage of women within IT: 32%

Percentage of IT managers who are women: 34%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are women: 31%

Minorities in IT

Total percentage of minorities within IT: 28%

Percentage of IT managers who are minorities: 13%

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