Tech diversity champions Code First Girls and the MotherBoard Movement have teamed up. Together, they’re recognising the top tech employers leading the way in offering exceptional maternity and paternity policies. In turn, tackling the challenges faced by working parents in the industry.
The #MumsWhoCode campaign recognises employers who, at a minimum, offer either a 6-month full-pay maternity policy or a 4-month full-pay paternity policy. This is alongside further benefits. Flexible working arrangements, on-site childcare and other family-friendly policies are a few examples.
Offering strong maternity, paternity and family-friendly policies is crucial to retaining female tech talent. It is also helping close the gender gap in the industry. When asked why they believe women’s careers in tech may advance more slowly than their male counterparts, 19 per cent of Code First Girls members suggested career breaks or maternity breaks may be the cause. Meanwhile, 14 per cent blamed challenges organising family life while working.
Transforming the industry with parents in mind
#MumsWhoCode aims to shine a light on employers transforming the industry to ensure it is inclusive of mothers. Policies for both men and women play a role in promoting this inclusivity. Studies show that when men take parental leave, women’s earnings rise.
Examples of leading policies include those offered by aerospace and defence multinational Thales. For example, fertility treatment leave, return-to-work mentoring and a coaching programme for new mothers. Thales is also in the process of introducing return-to-work buddies for all parents returning to work from family leave. This is in addition to offering 6 months full pay for employees who have been with the company for over a year.
Likewise, Ford employees are entitled to a period of 52 weeks’ statutory maternity leave. Regardless of length of service, and, as part of the company’s policy, employees are entitled to a partial reimbursement of NCT Parent Craft Class fees. Parents whose pregnancy results in a stillbirth are entitled to the same amount of maternity leave.
Additionally, Government agency DTSL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) offers a number of flexible working policies. For example, job sharing and flexi-time schemes, giving employees the flexibility to manage their working hours to better suit their lifestyle. Furthermore, blended working enables employees to work from on DTSL sites, from home or in other remote locations within the UK.
Companies recognised for their stand-out maternity leave policies include:
- Goldman Sachs
- Transport for London
- Willmot Dixon
Companies recognised for their stand-out paternity leave policies include:
- Deutsche Bank
- American Express
Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls, said: “The tech industry has been a boys’ club for far too long. However, that’s all starting to change. While there’s still a glaring gender gap in tech, the dial is shifting. More women are recognising and seeking out the amazing opportunities careers in tech can bring.
“But to protect and accelerate that progress, tech companies must ensure they have policies in place that are inclusive of employees at all stages of their life. Caring responsibilities for parents bring new challenges that can widen gender inequality over time. We’re thrilled to celebrate #MumsWhoCode and the companies that are supporting them to do so with their leading maternity and paternity policies.”
Sophie Creese, founder of MotherBoard commented: “The tech industry has an ongoing issue with retaining women. With more women entering the industry we are seeing glimmers of hope that gender diversity is improving.
“However, with 50 per cent of women leaving the tech industry around childbearing age, we need to tackle this drop-off point of skilled women from leaving the industry if we want to improve gender disparity at all seniority levels. By offering good maternity and paternity leave policies companies showcase their value on parenthood and we’re very pleased to spotlight those that are leading the way.”