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Celebrating supportive employers on International Day of Families

Celebrating supportive employers on International Day of Families

 May 13, 2019

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International Day of Families takes place annually on May 15th. Where Women Work looks at ways female workers can forge a healthy balance between work and family-life, and shines a spotlight on employers that value and support women with family responsibilities.

Having the confidence to ask for change

It can be easy to see life in a black and white way at times – thinking you either need to work full-time while sacrificing time with the family, or thinking you need to be a stay-at-home mother.

Too often, some women feel unable to speak to their employers about how they can achieve a better work/family-life balance and therefore feel they have little choice but to step out of the workplace.  

By choosing a supportive employer, however, women can enjoy a rewarding career alongside their family life. Women do not always need to choose one option over the other.

Different ways of working

Working full-time in a structured format doesn’t suit everyone. And, if you’re someone who has children, then dealing with various emotional responsibilities at home – from helping with homework through to arranging doctor’s appointments – can be draining. Add a long commute to the office into the mix and it’s easy for some women to potentially feel overwhelmed.

Working flexibly for a supportive employer enables women to continue using their talent and skills while also making the most of family time.

For women who are not currently achieving that balance, it might be worth thinking about discussing flexible working options with managers. If an employer truly values a certain individual’s work, then there is always a chance they will be willing to negotiate.

Putting flexible processes into place - such as helping women start work slightly later each day so they can take their children to school, working from home on occasion so they can cut out time spent away on the commute, or being able to change hours so they can attend school sports days - are all ways in which employers can show their support.

International Day of Families

Prime employers for women care about family life

Not every employer is willing to negotiate – but every journey begins with a discussion. There are many examples of prime employers doing their bit to help employees enjoy their family life, and we’ve rounded up some key examples of these companies below.

MetLife is an adoption friendly workplace

MetLife has been recognised by the Dave Thomas Foundation for being an Adoption Friendly Workplace. The company is ranked highly on the list of Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces. For over a decade, MetLife has also been celebrated for its support for its employee adoption benefits, parental leave policies and flexible work culture.

HCL supports women returners back into the company

Support for women returning to work after career breaks is a key priority for HCL and employees with family responsibilities are valued and supported.

Roshni Nadar Malhotra, HCL’s Executive Director and CEO, says: "There are some days that work becomes more important. There are some days that elements outside the workplace become more important, and you're constantly juggling with those choices. And the most successful women among us have juggled with those choices and learnt to live with their decisions without any guilt.”

AECOM offers colleagues Freedom to Grow

AECOM recognises that the traditional 9-5 lifestyle is starting to transform, so the company launched its pioneering Freedom To Grow way of working. The guiding principle of Freedom To Grow is: if it works for you, your team and your client then it works for AECOM. This could mean coming to work after the school-run or leaving early in order to collect your children.

Mariana Goyarzu, Sustainability Consultant, says: “Living away from my home country Mexico is hard sometimes. But Freedom To Grow allows me the option to extend my time when I’m visiting my family by working from the AECOM Mexico office.”

Diageo offers great support for working parents

Diageo UK employees enjoy fantastic parental leave benefits, with the business offering men and women an equal 52 weeks’ parental leave with the first 26-weeks fully paid. The company also offers its thousands of talented employees support throughout their employment so that they can achieve a positive work-family balance.

"Having a supportive manager has made achieving a work/family balance so easy for me. I am able to work my hours around childcare and I even have a Monday off to spend time with my two boys,” says Elaine McTaggart, Talent Engagement Manager.

Flexible working makes life easier at Amazon

Family-friendly employer Amazon offers flexible opportunities with great support for parents. “Flexibility has been my lifeline through a couple decades of parenting while working,” says Kindle Director, Ellenore Angelidis, who thoroughly enjoys her life as a working mother at Amazon.

Whether looking to return to a career full-time or slowly transition back into the world of work via a part-time role, Amazon can help forge a flexible career via its return to work packages.

International Day of Families working mother

Women at the University of Sheffield get the help they need to progress

The Women Academic Returners’ Programme at the University of Sheffield provides additional help to minimise the impact of extended leave on research activities. The programme is open to women across all faculties and can be accessed if they need additional support, over and above their maternity cover, to help keep their research on track and competitive.

Northrop Grumman’s iReturn programme supports career returners

Northrop Grumman understands that sometimes women need time away from their careers to care for their families. The company’s iReturn program is designed to translate skills and experience back into current career pathways and provides a seamless transition back into the workforce.

Schneider Electric values family leave

Schneider Electric’s global family leave policy makes work-life balance more accessible to each of its 144,000 employees. The policy sets global minimum standards for parental leave, care leave and bereavement leave while preserving country flexibility based on statutory and market needs. Schneider Electric  was the first in its industry to make a global family leave policy commitment to all its employees.

Medtronic employees enjoy much appreciated family time

Medtronic employees are taking advantage of six additional weeks of paid time off to deal with family care needs. The Medtronic Family Care Leave Policy applies to all full-time and part-time employees in the United States. It provides up to six additional weeks of paid time off for employees to care for sick family members or to support family impacted when a spouse, child or parent is called to active military duty.

84.51° welcomes women returning from career breaks

At 84.51° there are many women who successfully manage a thriving career while balancing their outside commitments. The company welcomes women who are returning to the workforce following a career break.

Women at 84.51° understand they bring great skills and expertise that help drive the company forward.

Flexible working is key to Arcadis’ workplace culture

Arcadis is committed to creating a more inclusive and innovative culture that enables employees to realise their potential, and delivers outstanding results for their clients. Flexible working is key to supporting this mission. Arcadis has adopted an ‘All Roles Flex’ approach to the workplace which recognises that employees’ demands are ever-changing and that family-life matters.

Honeywell enables its people to take time out when needed

Honeywell provides competitive maternity policies to enable its people to take the time they need, ensure those on leave are able to keep in touch with the business, and help returners as they transition back into work.

Secil Iskender, a Honeywell Engineer in Turkey, says: "Work-life balance is critical for a happy life and to achieve this balance we need to be very well organized. My advice is not to waste any second and always learn new things and keep up your self-motivation, rather than being set back by challenges.”

Capgemini supports women making a career comeback

Capgemini recognises that the transition from an extended career break back into the workplace can be challenging. The Return@Capgemini Programme helps to support talented professionals in to the organisation and the tech sector. The programme offers a paid placement of 6 months, with the possibility of a permanent role at the end of the programme, to talented professionals who have been on a career break for two or more years.

Eaton offers flexible working options and support groups

Eaton offers helpful flexible work options to help balance work with family life demands, as well as excellent benefits like paid time off with vacation, sick days and holiday observance. The company also has a number of Inclusion Resource Groups that help foster awareness and respect in Eaton's workplace by bringing together employees who share a common purpose, interest or background - and for women returners this is incredibly helpful.

Diverse perspectives and backgrounds power Eaton's performance - and the women returning from career breaks are essential to the mix of talent at this progressive employer.

Enjoy a great work-family balance with a prime employer for women

As the above employers demonstrate, there are many ways in which an exciting work life can be balanced against a happy family life. Perhaps a key message to remember on International Day of Families is to keep an open dialogue with employers, discussing family needs as you never know what changes could be made.

So consider working for a prime employer for women and hopefully it could help change your work life balance for the better.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


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