Why brands in pursuit of gender equality are prioritising parental leave
Brands have made great strides when it comes to diversity and inclusion, but why has business – and wider culture – had such a blind spot when it comes to equalising parental leave?
Achieving gender equality in the workplace should be a pressing concern for any business in 2020. Several factors come into play, from the persistent gender pay gap to issues around flexible working and parental leave.
In its Sex and Power 2020 review, gender equality campaign group the Fawcett Society called for maternity, paternity and parental leave policies to “be comprehensively reviewed”. The society argues that parental leave should be structured to presume “equal responsibility for the care of children”, ensuring that both parents have leave entitlements in their own right.
On the issue of shared parental leave, Marketing Week’s 2020 Career and Salary Survey shows a clear interest among marketers. Some 18.7% of the 3,883 respondents say they are offered shared parental leave, but over the past 12 months just 1.2% have opted to take it.
Reflecting on the fact that less than 20% of marketers are being offered shared parental, UKTV chief marketing and innovation officer, Simon Michaelides, describes the number as “disappointingly low”.