The United States has the dubious distinction of being one of the few countries in the United Nations that does not mandate that employers provide paid time off for new parents. Often, working mothers are forced to return to their duties mere days after giving birth, which flies in the face of the body of scientific research that confirms the mental and physical health benefits of caring for a newborn baby. As businesses continue to struggle with staffing shortages, many are re-thinking workplace culture, compensation, and benefits to attract and retain talent, with management consultancy Bain & Company recently announcing a new policy extending paid parental leave of up to 26 weeks.
The benefits update isn’t limited to parental leave, either – Bain’s benefits package also offers coverage for reproduction assistance for same-sex couples, assisted reproductive services, as well as adoption and surrogacy reimbursements. The paid parental leave policy covers biological parents, adoption, and surrogacy, extending the benefits to a more diverse workforce with differing needs.
"We are constantly evaluating new ways to improve our best-place-to-work culture, lead with equity and serve as the destination for top business talent," said Kara Gruver, Bain’s Chief Talent Officer, in a press release. "Equal parental leave for all parents is an important step to move us forward on gender equity, ensuring all of our people at Bain can thrive, both personally and professionally.”
The move comes as consultancy firms take a variety of actions to attract and retain talent, increasing salaries, offering more flexible working environments, broadening the scope of parental leave and paid time off, as well as providing meeting-free “focus time” so employees can work undisturbed.
Bain & Company, which employs more than 13,000 people all over the world, has been consistently rated a top employer, having been named the top consulting firm on Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Work 2022, as well as ranking as one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For three years running. With job openings and departures reaching record highs in March 2022, it’s clear that investing in a happy and well-cared-for workforce pays off in more than just profitability.