Home    Insight    Insight

Global day of parents: Celebrating employers of working families

Global day of parents: Celebrating employers of working families

 May 31, 2018

 Read time

Global Day of Parents honors parents from around the world who offer selfless love and commitment to raising their children. It’s important to remember that while parents do an amazing job rearing small people to achieve great things, sometimes it would be an impossible job without the support of progressive, family-focused employers who support a balance in home and working life.

Where Women Work takes a look at some of the employers taking active steps to support their employees’ responsibilities.

HCL supports women returners back into the company

HCL Women returners

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.”

MetLife supports returners and is adoption-friendly

MetLife family support

MetLife has a return-to-work program called ACT2. It’s a 10-week paid internship based off of an existing job vacancy, so participants will be able to experience working at MetLife as an associate while having a direct impact on the business.

MetLife has also 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.

84.51° welcomes women returning from career breaks

8451 women returners

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.

AECOM unveils Returner programme and offers Freedom to Grow

AECOM women returners

Following the success of its UK & Ireland Returners programme in 2018, AECOM has launched its latest Returners programme. The programme is designed to enable both women and men who have been out of the workplace for a significant amount of time to return back to work.

AECOM Returners offers a paid placement for 6 months, with the opportunity for roles to become permanent. Coaching sessions run by Women Returners are also available to successful applicants, along with an abundance of online training. Not to mention the opportunity to work on some of AECOM’s most high-profile projects.

In addition, parents may be attracted to AECOM due to 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.

Amazon's amazing flexible working opportunities

For parents with young children who may be concerned about returning to work too soon, family-friendly employer Amazon offers flexible opportunities with loads of support.

Amazon knows that both flexibility and job security are essential for new parents, so with their return to work packages, women can expect everything they need to rebuild their career with this fabulous employer offering bountiful opportunities.

“Flexibility has been my lifeline through a couple decades of parenting while working,” says Kindle Director, Ellenore Angelidis who truly enjoys her life as a working mother at Amazon.

Flexible working is key to Arcadis’ workplace culture

Arcadis Flexible Working

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.

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.

Exceptional support from Diageo for working parents

Diageo rolls out an ambitious maternity and paternity leave policy globally, as part of its focus on continuing to create a fully inclusive and diverse workforce.

Diageo offers a global minimum of 26 weeks fully paid maternity leave and sets global minimum standard for fully paid paternity leave. Diageo hopes the policy will support employees to focus on the joy of raising a young family, while continuing to thrive at work.

The news follows the announcement that all parents employed by Diageo in the UK are now eligible for the same fully-paid 26 weeks, retaining benefits and bonuses regardless of gender.

Diageo also believes that when their employees are happier, with a strong work-life balance that fits around their lifestyle, they perform better.

"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.

Eaton offers flexible working options and support groups

Eaton women returners

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.

Exyte makes returning to work a great option

Exyte women returners

Exyte understands the challenges women can face when returning to the workplace after taking time to spend with their children. Whether women returners need to refresh their skillset or balance work commitments with family responsibilities, Exyte can help make a return back to work much easier.

With people at the core of its company values, Exyte is the perfect company to prioritize women's needs and value the diversity experience.

Honeywell enables parents to take time out when needed

Honeywell women returners

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.”

Medtronic employees enjoy much appreciated family time

Medtronic family leave

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.

In addition, Medtronic supports women returners with its innovative program, Careers 2.0. This offers women with technical backgrounds the opportunity to return to the workplace after a break of two or more years - ideal for new mums looking to get a foot back in the door.

Northrop Grumman’s iReturn program is impressive

Northrop Grumman iReturn

Northrop Grumman understands that sometimes women need time away from their career. Whether to care for family, pursue additional education, or any number of reasons - Northrop Grumman understands that the challenge of returning to the workforce can be daunting. Their iReturn program is designed to translate skills and experience back into current career pathways and provides a seamless transition back into the workforce.

NSW DFSI understands life’s changing priorities

NSW DFSI maternity leave

NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) understands that having children means that life can take on different, and often challenging, priorities. Their strong commitment to working families and women returners is second-to-none. And where possible, they offer flexible working arrangements to meet the needs of their employees who are parents or caregivers.

“Since my return to work from maternity leave my manager and workplace have been fantastic, I have been able to adjust my hours to fit in with my childcare arrangements, the flexibility they have shown has certainly increased my motivation," says one DFSI employee.

Rio Tinto offers global parental leave

Rio Tinto parental leave

Rio Tinto has a number of complementary programmes to attract more women to work in mining, particularly in non-traditional roles, and also to attract women to return to mining after having children - and they have a great Flexible Work Arrangements Policy.

The purpose of the policy is to provide opportunities for current employees to better balance their work and other life commitments, as well as making Rio Tinto a more attractive place to work for those who could not work the traditional mining rosters due to child care or other commitments - most often women. Flexible work arrangements available under this scheme include part-time, job sharing, phased retirement, working from home and flexible work hours. Read more about Rio Tinto’s global minimum standard for paid parental leave for all employees.

Schneider Electric leads the way for family leave

Schneider Electric family leave

Schneider Electric has revolutionized its global family leave policy, making work-life balance more accessible to each and every one of their 144,000 employees, worldwide. The policy sets global minimum standards for parental leave, care leave and bereavement leave while preserving country flexibility based on statutory and market needs. The energy firm is the first in its industry to make a global family leave policy commitment to all its employees and hopes to encourage others in the sector to do the same.

Employee Jennifer Webster says: “Having two children under the age of 5, Schneider Electric has supported me through enhanced maternity pay. They've also provided a supportive environment when I was ready to return to work and have given me the opportunity to work flexibly.

University of Sheffield has a women’s academic returner programme

The Women Academic Returners’ Programme provides additional support, if needed upon return to work, to minimise the impact of extended leave on research activities. This programme is open to women academics and researchers across all faculties at the University of Sheffield. Importantly, the programme can be accessed if women need additional support, over and above their maternity cover, to keep their research on track, thus enabling their continued career development.

Vodafone supports working parents in many ways

Vodafone’s ReConnect Programme helps ensure the company can consistently attract and retain the very best talent. The programme promotes opportunities for women who would like to return to work on a full time or flexible basis, but are struggling to make the professional connections needed or refresh the skills required.

When Head of Public Sector Sales, Kate, returned to work from maternity leave, Vodafone fully supported her with flexible career options. With many opportunities for career progression and advancement, Kate never missed a beat with her career and was able to fully balance her working life with spending time with her infant son.

When Burcu Erdur wanted to return to work after a two-year career break, she said that the ReConnect Programme at Vodafone changed her life.

Is your employer up to the mark for family-friendly support?

So, on Global Day of Parents, many employees might find themselves asking whether their current employer is simply doing enough in providing systems and support that assist in balancing the challenges and responsibilities of family life.

And, if not, perhaps it’s the perfect time to look for a new, progressive employer who will go out of their way to help make the intersection between work and life a happy one.


Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, X, Instagram and Facebook.

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


Join our women's careers community