Today, Coca-Cola announced expanded parental leave! The company announced that effective January 1, 2017, non-bargaining employees would receive 6 weeks of paid leave regardless of whether they were new moms, dads, adoptive or foster parents.
As their announcement reveals, the initiative was championed by Coca-Cola Millennial Voices, an internal employee group that helps the company both attract and retain millennial employees and consumers for Coca-Cola products. At Fairygodboss, we are proud to have contributed to this effort as a resource the Millennial Voices Group used when they studied how much their employee peers valued parental leave and what other employers were offering.
Coke’s new policy adds to the short-term disability benefits that the company already pays to birth mothers (which is between 6-8 weeks of paid leave). The company believes that it’s gender-neutral policy will help close the gender gap both at home and in the workplace, and Coke’s Chief People Officer, Ceree Eberly said that “We think the most successful way to structure benefits to help working families is to make them gender-neutral and encourage both moms and dads to play an active role in their family lives…Paid parental leave provides time off for parents to truly bond with their new child. We feel it’s important for all new parents to take time off, so that when they return to work, they’re refreshed, less stressed and at their best — focused, engaged and productive.”
We couldn’t be happier to share Coca-Cola’s news and are excited to see that a millennial employee group has been a champion for change! It’s a good reminder that employees of all generations can play a role in impacting the workplace. And we love seeing change happening beyond the technology industry which has gotten much of the (well-deserved) spotlight for their parental leave policies, lately. It’s proof that things are shaking up in many places — even at America’s oldest and most iconic brand-name companies.
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