Danone’s first parental policy, which provides support for caregivers during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life: from conception to the age of two, was launched this month. This global initiative has been welcomed by UN Women, which awarded the title of Thematic Champion to Emmanuel Faber, Danone’s Chief Executive Officer. The international “1,000 Days” parental policy is intended to support future and new parents, to protect the health of mothers and young children and to facilitate work-life balance. It is broken down into three stages:
- Before the child’s birth, Danone ensures that working conditions are suitable for mothers-to-be, and for the specific needs of the pregnancy period. These women will have time set aside for their medical appointments and will receive nutritional advice.
- On the birth of the baby, paid parental leave will be guaranteed for everyone, men and women. Eighteen weeks of leave will be available for the birth parent, 14 weeks can be taken for an adoption, and 10 working days’ leave may be taken for the second parent.
- Postnatal support: the “1,000 Days” policy will also support breastfeeding at work and a series of measures will be provided to guide parents when they return from parental leave.
This new policy will be rolled out throughout the world by the end of 2020, and will aim to promote equality among men and women, to encourage the involvement of both parents in parenthood and contribute to the empowerment and leadership of women, to enable them to access positions of responsibility. “Creating a family brings great joy, as well as new responsibilities for those who are looking to build successful careers. But one should not come at the expense of the other” explains Lorna Davis, Chief Manifesto Catalyst at Danone. “Our parental policy aims to give all our employees, whether men or women, the opportunity to achieve their personal, family and professional ambitions. This is one of the ways that Danone strives to promote diversity throughout the world.”Four other organizations joined Danone on March 8, International Women’s Day, as it joined the UN women’s rights movement HeForShe that highlights best practices for gender equality. The last word goes to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, who congratulated Danone on its “1,000 Days” parental policy, and welcomed the “commitments that will allow teams to build a more flexible and equal society”.