“If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.” Sir Richard Branson, possibly one of the most intriguing entrepreneurs and thought-leaders of our time has just done something remarkable. Again.
The Huffington Post reports:
“Virgin Management, the investment and brand licensing arm of his Virgin Group empire, announced a new policy allowing some female and male employees to take up to a year of paid parental leave.”
This definitely raises the bar for all employers, particularly those professing to be ultra-progressive yet don’t offer equivalent leave programs for dads and moms. According to a study by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute, only about 14 percent of U.S. employers offer paid paternity leave as an option as opposed to 58% that offer the option to moms.
This type of statistic shows how as a society we have grown to expect that moms stay home with the newborn while dad has to go to work. A bogus and out-dated way of looking at how families ought to operate. Especially with a newborn in the picture.
As this addictinginfo.org article points out:
In today’s job market, even getting maternity leave is a challenge, and fathers are oftentimes out-of-luck completely. This means new parents are often forced to put their jobs ahead of spending time with their children in order to keep putting food on the table. The emotional and societal costs are difficult to put into numbers, but easy to recognize as a major problem.
Take a look at Paul Raeburn’s Do Father’s Matter – What Science Is Telling Us About The Parent We’ve Overlooked, which reveals the science of how important dads role is in the development of language and other lifelong skills. These developmental milestones occur within the first few years and having dad around can lead to exploding potential in young ones.
Maybe Sir Richard Branson has read this book and is thinking about that next generation or maybe he’s just an awesome dude who gets it without having to be told. Yea, probably that.
Although this policy only affects 140 employees, the fact that it’s gotten everyone talking is a giant leap forward for our society as a whole in the gender equality department.
Check it out for yourself on Huff Post.