Note: In honor of Social Venture Network’s 25-year anniversary, the network is inducting 25 of its most innovative and influential leaders into its hall of fame Nov. 13 at Gotham Hall in New York City. To recognize these sustainable business pioneers, SVN’s news program, ‘Sustainable Solutions,’ is interviewing the hall-of-famers to celebrate their accomplishments and learn what more needs to be done. Read the whole series here.
When Linda Mason reflects on the success of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, an early child care and education provider with more than 700 locations through North America and Europe, she’s most proud of building an organization that’s a great place to work.
“Of all the recognition we get, being designated as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in America by FORTUNE magazine makes us the proudest,” says Mason.
This year is the 13th time Bright Horizons received FORTUNE’s accolade.
Mason co-founded Bright Horizons in 1986 with her husband Roger Brown. The organization had a mission to provide innovative programs that help children, families and employers work together to be their very best. It’s grown to be the world’s leading provider of employer-sponsored child care and early education.
Crucial to the company’s success has been its culture, although Mason admits it grew organically from the people who joined their team. She and Roger started the company with a belief in the need to bring their values to work.
“It’s really establishing an ethic where you can bring yourself to the organization, and your work and your workplace can be partly an embodiment of who you are and what you believe in,” explains Mason.
“Each person that we hired, especially in the early years, they contributed to the organizational culture from their perspective. We were the seed, but from that it really grew much beyond us where every child-care center is its own place.”
Mason and Brown are being honored by Social Venture Network (SVN) as Visionary Social Entrepreneurs for pioneering solutions to early childhood care. The duo also founded Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, which opened its 250th Bright Space this year, providing 10,000 children living in crisis a safe place to play, learn and grow.
According to Mason, the recognition is thrilling, especially considering SVN and Bright Horizons started nearly at the same time, 25 years ago. Mason says the community was vital to building the company.
“It absolutely infused our thinking as we were creating our organization in many ways: both in internal policies, set of values, our commitments to community, and having colleagues who had some of the same goals,” she recalls.
“It felt like we had a great support group there.”
SVN’s Hall of Fame celebration takes place Nov. 13 in New York City.
This article written by AxiomNews.ca is part of a Social Venture Network series featuring its Hall of Fame honorees.