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Published: 26 Aug 2016

Deloitte LLP, Joint Winner 2016, The Cityparents Best for All Stages of Motherhood Award

Key features

  • Deloitte has introduced the Working Parents Transitions Programme for new parents and their managers to ensure they receive the best support prior to, during and after maternity leave
  • The programme has attracted over 70 per cent of new mothers and seen the number of mothers leaving within 18 months of return from maternity leave drop from 19.4 per cent to 8.3 per cent.
  • Focusing on new parents, managers ensure that actions are embeded, transitions are smooth and that there is understanding and support.
  • In addition, employees are offered four weeks’ unpaid leave every year as part of the firm’s Time Out policy.

Deloitte aims for all of its working mothers or primary carers to be able to build a successful career without compromising family life. To enable this they have built a combination of an inclusive culture, a modern and agile working environment and deliberate, programmed actions such as coaching support during the parental leave period. The focus is not just on the new parent but also their manager and those around them; making the approach to attracting and retaining people at Deloitte holistic and comprehensive.

When a woman announces her pregnancy,  both the mother-to-be and her manager join the Deloitte Working Parents Transitions Programme (WPTP) to enable a smooth transition to and from maternity leave. Delivered by external coaches, pre-maternity sessions build peer support networks, provide an opportunity to share experiences and explain the support offered by the company. At the midway point of the first year of the WPTP over 70 per cent of pregnant women had joined the programme before going on leave.

Managers attend separate sessions to understand best practice support they can provide before, during and after maternity leave. Deloitte mandates that all managers, with an expectant mother or primary carer in their team, attend training with the objective to reduce the percentage of those leaving within 18 months of return. The approach is working; the number of new mothers leaving within 18 months of returning from maternity leave has dropped from 19.4 per cent to 8.3 per cent in the last two years. The feedback from mothers and their managers has been very positive.

Deloitte wants new mothers and primary carers to stay feeling connected. Shortly before return each mother or primary carer has a one-to-one with an external coach to further plan their return. On return, those at manager level and above join a five-month programme of monthly face-to-face group coaching sessions. These focus on building confidence and skills to manage home and work responsibilities and ensure new working patterns are working efficiently. Deloitte also offers emergency backup childcare to all parents five times a year, which is funded by the firm.

Deloitte’s Time Out policy, which offers four weeks’ unpaid leave each year to all employees, has been increasingly popular with parents during school holidays and enables them to enjoy extended time with their children.

The objective at Deloitte is to increase the proportion of women in their workforce and enable these women to develop their careers while enjoying family life. They aim to reach a target of 25 per cent female partners by 2020 and 30 per cent by 2030.