Professional policy changes like recognizing care work and supporting equal pay are critical steps for promoting gender equality in the workplace. Another influential policy is generous parental leave for all parents. Volvo recognizes the value of parental leave and has announced that it will offer six months of paid leave for all employees.
The 24-week leave will be available to employees in every country as of April 1, including adoptive, foster, and surrogate parents. Maternity leave has always been six months for mothers at Volvo, but for their partners, the time has varied based on national laws.
Studies have shown that equal and generous parental leave leads to happier and more engaged employees. Extending this benefit to all parents also helps counteract the stereotype of mothers as at-home caregivers and prevents women from being disproportionately disadvantaged in the professional world as a result of maternal leave.
This policy from Volvo demonstrates the company’s commitment to supporting parents, regardless of national laws, and will hopefully encourage other companies and even countries to rethink their parental leave policies. Chief executive Håkan Samuelsson said in a statement, “We want to create a culture that supports equal parenting for all genders.”