One Equal World

Posts Tagged ‘family-friendly

A pregnant businesswoman working at her computer.

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Wall Street firms don’t exactly have a reputation for being family-friendly work environments. The stereotype is often true, that employees are expected to work long hours and forego their personal lives. But that’s all changing, thanks to evolving attitudes around work-life balance.

Perhaps the biggest improvement can be seen in how Wall Street views childcare. Once upon a time, it was virtually unheard of for a company to offer paid maternity leave. Now, high finance companies are offering gender-neutral paid parental leave. Take investment firm KKR, for example.

While KKR has had separate maternity and paternity leave policies in place for quite some time, the firm only recently decided to revamp their policy to be more gender inclusive. Their new policy, called “parental leave,” has been expanded to include 16 weeks of paid time off for the primary caregiver.

This radical new approach to childcare comes with approval from KKR co-CEOs Henry Kravis and George Roberts, who for years have been pushing to make the finance industry more family-friendly. The firm also hopes that this new policy will attract more female talent, resulting in more gender diversity.

But KKR isn’t the only investment firm making changes to its childcare leave policies. In November 2015, Swiss financial services holding company Credit Suisse became the first major bank to offer 20 weeks of paid parental leave.

Asset management company The Blackstone Group has also followed suit. After reevaluating their childcare leave policy, the private equity firm now offers 16 weeks of paid maternity leave.

Even Goldman Sachs, which is notorious for having a demanding workload, has upped its paid leave for “secondary caregivers” from two to four weeks.

Keep in mind that there is no federal law that requires U.S. companies to offer paid paternity/maternity leave. These companies are genuinely trying to create more diverse and inclusive work environments, and in doing so, will hopefully inspire other companies to do the same.