Bank of Ireland – Finalist 2023, Best for Mothers
The Bank of Ireland recognises the valuable role of women in driving the success of their business. They are striving, through progressive policies and family-friendly culture, for an inclusive workplace and supportive environment where women can reach their potential.
The strategic approach to ensuring women can thrive places flexibility and support at its core. Flexible options offered include location and hourly flexibility. A ‘Flexible Matching’ commitment has been launched, to ensure flexible arrangements are not a barrier to career development. Maternity, adoption and surrogacy leave is an outstanding 26 weeks at full pay, Mothers are offered a phased return, maternity buddies and return-with-confidence workshops. Family-friendly policies on fertility, menopause, surrogacy, baby loss and breastfeeding are available from day one of employment. This framework is further bolstered by the education of managers which aims to ensure that managers understand the stress that mothers experience managing dual jobs and the possible fluctuation in output as they juggle multiple roles.
The Bank of Ireland has implemented a suite of measures that reinforce the message that families are a welcome part of the working culture. There is a recognition of the needs of mothers during different life stages; an intergenerational network focuses on mothers of all ages and the celebration of Grandparents Day acknowledges that parenthood doesn’t end with your own children. Initiatives such as family social activities, workshops on cyber security for children and studying for exams, as well as parenting support through a wellbeing app all signal that women’s role as mothers is not just accepted but embraced.
The voice of women
Communication and awareness are a focus for the organisation in improving the experience for women. The voice of women has a platform via the family network, which helps to drive meaningful change. The network is aligned with other diversity and inclusion groups for maximum impact. A female community has been established with the support of a career psychologist. Story telling is commonplace, giving the chance to discuss, embrace and celebrate family moments. Important work is done around education and awareness on baby loss and infertility, and conversations around women’s health are prioritised to remove stigma and facilitate support.
The measure of success
The Bank of Ireland has impressive retention rates of circa 96% after the first child, after the birth of a second child, and five years after the birth of the first child. Mothers with children under five have executive-level positions. They are planning a ‘Show We Care’ conference later in 2023 where they will bring to life their family friendly policies. They plan to continue to be externally benchmarked to drive ongoing improvements to enable work-life balance, and the health and wellbeing of mothers.