International Day of Families provides a great moment for reminding women they don't have to choose between having a professional career versus managing home responsibilities


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Celebrate inclusive employers on International Day of Families

Celebrate inclusive employers on International Day of Families

 May 14, 2020

Families are a key foundation of societies and can provide much-needed stability, security and a sense of belonging.

Celebrated annually on May 15, International Day of Families promotes the need to maintain happy and healthy family relationships for the benefit of individuals and society. The day is also useful for highlighting many family-related issues such as the fact that women should not have to feel ongoing pressure caused by having to choose between family life and work.

International Day of Families is a great day to consider employers who don’t expect women to choose between their careers and their families and who actively encourage employees to live a fulfilling life beyond the workplace.

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Company initiatives to support the family

Many progressive employers break down barriers between work and home by opening up conversations with their employees about family responsibilities. By better understanding employee needs, companies can actively take steps to support their workforces through a range of formal and informal initiatives.

Many employers take advantage of digital technology to encourage work-from-home arrangements. Many roles can be carried out remotely so employees can still fulfill career responsibilities while being physically present with their families. Employees can tailor work schedules to their home life, enabling them flexibility to take time off or work varying hours to accommodate family responsibilities.

Parental leave policies and returner programs also continue to improve with robust sets of benefits covering care needs, as well as a greater understanding of unconventional families such as parenting via adoption.

Supporting an employee’s home life can help strengthen bonds with families and with the company. It can also increase workplace morale, loyalty and satisfaction. Having adequate family-friendly practices can also support parents and caregivers to focus more fully on their work, being comfortable in the knowledge that their work and family time can blend together in suitable ways.

For International Day of Families we celebrate the employers supporting women to balance their professional and personal lives in innovative and much-needed ways.


HCL supports women returners and military families

Women with family responsibilities are valued and supported thanks to HCL's iBelieve career program for women. Meanwhile, the company also honors veterans, their families and the resilience of military children through sponsoring PenFed Foundation's Night of Heroes Gala

Flexible work hours benefit Amazon mothers

Amazon’s flexible work hours and supportive teams mean that women like Operations Manager llaria di Bartolomeo can their fulfill career ambitions and spend time with their families. “When I start early in the morning, Matteo goes to the crèche with his dad, but in the afternoon he finds me at the exit, ready to give him a hug and take him to the park. When it's a night shift, it means I have a good part of the day for us. With traditional office hours, I'd only see my son early in the morning and at night,” explains Illaria.

Avon welcomes fresh approaches of women returners

Avon understands that having a diverse mix of people and talents on its team helps the company better understand and meet the needs of its customers. Avon actively encourages women returners back into the workforce via parental leave, a back-to-work programme, time off, emergency childcare and flexible working options. They also help women to become economically independent and earn on their own terms.

Importantly, Avon also understands some of the many challenges for women when family life not be the happiest of scenarios. Avon's #IsolatedNotAlone campaign specifically supports women and girls who are at increased risk of domestic abuse fueled by self-isolation and pressures caused by isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.   

Medtronic provides considerable support for employees with family care responsibilities

Employees are taking advantage of six additional weeks of paid time off to deal with family care needs as part of the Medtronic Family Care Leave (FCL) Policy

Carol Surface, Chief Human Resources Officer at Medtronic, says: "We believe we have created a benefit that goes well beyond current practice in the U.S. and affords Medtronic employees the valuable time they need with their families at critical times in their lives.”

“Employees who know they’re supported are going to be more committed to the organization, and we will see that return reflected in employee engagement,” said Denise King, Vice President of Benefits and Total Rewards Operations. “This says so much about the executive leadership team — they really care about our people.”

International Day of Families

84.51° helps women balance career and family life

84.51° provides support for women to balance career and family life. 84.51° Analyst, Meehee says that "Being a working mom is very challenging. I am so glad to be part of 84.51° where I get to work from home if needed and still be able to connect with my coworkers via email, messenger, and WebEx."

AECOM offers colleagues Freedom to Grow

Creating a family-friendly workplace, AECOM pioneered Freedom To Grow that supports workplace flexibility and an inclusive culture where employees can develop their full potential. The guiding principle of Freedom To Grow is that if it works for an employee, their team and clients - then it works for AECOM. For example, this may mean flexible arrnagements such as coming to work after the school-run or leaving early in order to collect your children.

Arcadis runs several initiatives suporting flexible working

Arcadis employees are supported to work flexibly and the company regularly shares stories about flexible working across the business. Arcadis provides a range of initiatives to ensure its employees are fully supported with all the necessary tools they require in order to lead fulfilling lives in all aspects of their life. The company is committed to creating a more inclusive and innovative culture that enables its people to realise their potential and consistently deliver outstanding results for their clients.

Capgemini provides good support for its working parents

Capgemini has an agile, results-driven work culture that sees flexible planning, seamless work flow, quicker time-to-market, higher quality products, and empowered employees. 

For Simone Thomas, HR Business Partner at Capgemini UK, this means she is supported to balance her work and caregiving responsibilities. "During the interview process, I was transparent about the flexibility that I needed. In summary, I proposed that I could work my contractual hours in a different way and still do a great job ... When I am at work I am able to focus and be at my best, knowing that my most precious is happy and that I am there for her when she needs me," says Simone. "I feel incredibly loyal to Capgemini and feel really fortunate to work for a company that truly believes that working for them should be a ‘shared adventure’ for all,” says Simona.

Diageo offers mothers and fathers equal parental leave

Recognised as one of the best companies for working mothers, Diageo offers employees parental leave benefits with an equal 52 weeks’ parental leave with the first 26-weeks fully paid for both men and women. The company also offers its employees support throughout their employment so that they can achieve a positive work-family balance.

“True gender equality in the working world requires fundamental changes to a broad range of working practices, including a shake-up of the policies and cultural norms around parental leave," says Mairéad Nayager​​​​​​, Chief HR Officer for Diageo.

EBRD extends its interest externally in family friendly workplaces

Not only does the EBRD maintain favourable work-life balance practices within its own organisation, but the Bank also encourages its clients to work towards best practices in human resources management themselves through promoting gender equality, family-friendly working and a good work-life balance.   

Eaton offers flexible working options and support groups

Eaton offers flexible work options to help balance work with family life demands, while its Inclusion Resource Groups 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 can be incredibly helpful.

EBRD extends its interest externally in family friendly workplaces Not only does the EBRD maintain favourable work-life balance practices within its own organisation, but the Bank also encourages its clients to work towards best practices in human resources management themselves through promoting gender equality, family-friendly working and a good work-life balance. 

Companies family benefits

Exyte makes returning to work a great option

Exyte understands that women at all stages of family life need company support, such as Lead Cleanroom Engineer Tina Toh who, when she was pregnant with her first child, would be sent photos of the project site by her team instead of needing to go there in person. A new engineer was also attached to her as a trainee - so that when she went on her break, the new engineer could hold fort, which gave her tremendous confidence and comfort to handle upcoming motherhood.

F5 hosts virtual ‘Bring Your Kid to Work Day’

F5 understands employees' family obligations and extends its support to help make the balance between work and home-life a little easier. A great example, is their virtual 'Bring Your Kid to Work Day' where colleagues were invited to involve their children in online activities, including a Girls Who Code session, to provide them with a taste of what life is like working for F5.​​

GSK returner programmes help mothers relaunch their career

For women who have taken a career break, GSK’s returner programme provides women with flexible working, work life balance, skills development, coaching, mentoring and more.

Honeywell seeks working mothers’ diverse perspectives

Honeywell understands that the perspective of being a mother can help contribute diverse perspectives regarding the way women approach their work.

Honeywell offers women impressive maternity leave and a supportive returners programme. For Honeywell employee Michelle Hannan, this supoprt helped relieve a lot of stress when deciding to return to work and provided her with more time to focus on her my new baby and not worry about having to take unpaid time.

McDonald's supports unconventional journeys to motherhood

When McDonald's Director Natasha made a life-changing decision to adopt a child, she found tremendous support at work both from employees and internal initiatives such as a credit benefit to put towards adoption expenses.

“My decision to adopt a child wasn’t only accepted at McDonald’s, but it was encouraged and supported. There was this network of moms who gave me advice and helped with preparation. There were also other adoptive parents who were thrilled for me and giving me their specific perspectives,” explains Natasha.

Northrop Grumman’s iReturn programme supports career returners

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

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Nottingham Trent University respects and supports employees with caring responsibilities

The University is committed to supporting the work/life balance of its members of staff and to contributing to a framework of 'family friendly' policies and working practices that enable staff to combine work with caring responsibilities.  

Schneider Electric provides impressive family leave options

Schneider Electric’s Global Family Leave policy makes work-life balance more accessible to all of its 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. This pioneering policy benefits many parents and caregivers working at Schneider Electric such as Senior Vice President of Talent and Diversity Tina Mylon and Director of State Affairs Stephanie Byrd.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering parents and caregivers are well supported

Spirax-Sarco Engineering is committed to equal treatment of all company employees. Employees across the business receive considerable benefits and parental leave. In addition, women returning to work after maternity leave are actively supported by the company. For example, UK Marketing Communications Manager Gemma Taylor was offered an exciting promotion while on maternity leave then supported in her return to work in her new role as Group Corporate Communications Manager.

Women at the University of Sheffield are encouraged and supported to progress

The Women Academic Returners’ Programme at the University of Sheffield provides additional help for women returning to their careers through minimising 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.


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

Around the world, companies are changing their workplace cultures to better support employees and their families. On International Day of Families, why not reflect on your own company and whether you’re receiving the necessary support to balance your professional and personal life.

If you want to work for a company that values the importance of family, search and apply for a job with a prime employer.

 

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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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