Carmichael Fisher Executive Search were privileged to have the fantastic Jan Gooding, Chair of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity, Stonewall, talking through her experiences and taking questions from our audience at our recent Diversity and Inclusion event focused on the banking and financial services sector.
In this video she talks through introducing equal parental leave in five markets and why 72% of people think employers should make it easier for men to combine childcare responsibilities with their working lives.
I was part of the team that introduced equal parental leave in five markets. I was in a forum like this of my inclusion council which was wonderful people from across the world, across disciplines Head Ofs and above, and this one person said why is the first thing you’re doing as Inclusion Director, which is going to cost millions of pounds if the men take it up – brackets, I think it got through because people thought men wouldn’t take it up, but anyway… if you did the costings based on people taking it up it was horrendous – why is the first thing you’re doing, big ticket item, to mainly help straight white men?
Although it was inclusive of adoption, surrogacy, everything you like, and although it was in five markets which included Singapore, in terms of who was going to benefit it was mainly [straight white men].
I was sitting there thinking wow, why am I doing that? Before I could draw brain or breath, a young woman from the audit department who was French, and I can’t do her French accent but I can hear it, she said “because imagine, you are interviewing a 30-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, and suddenly you have taken off the table the fact that she is going to have a maternity break because he could too” – and you go “that’s it!”
It’s like when you’re doing marketing and you go to a focus group, and some customer says something and you go “that’s the insight.” We are doing something for the culture of the workplace that acknowledges that people are parents.
It’s only taken 1000 years, but let’s acknowledge that both parents are parents, and that if women want to work, you have to let men care.
Continue the conversation
Diversity and inclusion is not just about numbers. It should be about bringing in professionals with a variety of cultures, background and experiences to challenge and change the status quo and help your company explore new products and markets. Hiring the right talent becomes increasingly important in today’s globalised business environment, where companies must navigate differences between languages, cultures and customs.
For a confidential conversation about your executive hiring challenges and how we’ve approached equal parental leave, feel free to connect with me directly here.