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Published: 20 Jun 2023

dentsu – Finalist 2023, Best Family Network sponsored by BlckBx

dentsu strive to make sure all parents and carers have a consistently supportive experience, through creating a community and influencing wider policy changes.  

Peer support 

There is a focus on fostering a sense of community so people feel able to bring their whole selves to work. Members are supported through access to the Talking Talent online coaching platform and an active Teams channel with subgroups. The channel enables members to find information, ask questions and gain peer support and has grown fourfold in recent times. A range of events has been facilitated to engage members including a calendar of training and panel events, networking sessions, and virtual classes. The network understands the importance of small gestures such as appreciation gifts and regular messages from senior leadership. There is promotion of the network through newsletters, company-wide emails and events, but also reaches those in need by working alongside HR. Returners from family leave are supported through workshops, a dedicated Teams subgroup and regular support calls.  

Family-friendly working 

The network actively promotes family-friendly working by showcasing flexible working in blogs and providing training to line managers on supporting parents and carers. When returning to the office after COVID-19, the CEO attended a networking session where members could share their thoughts on flexible working and review the revised family policies. To support the message that denstu supports flexible working, key senior leaders have launched monthly vlogs on how they balance caring responsibilities and work. Manager training courses with external providers have been provided on the parenting and caring journey, as well as practical tools for celebrating differences, fertility fluency, menopause, and online safety. Halloween events across the UK, an Easter baking kit gift, and LGBTQ+ book giveaway signals to parents that their identities as parents are valued.  

Driving change 

The network works to influence policy for the betterment of the parent and carer experience. They have successfully launched several policies, including an Emergency Carers Policy that provides up to two weeks of paid leave per year, a Premature Baby and Neonatal Care Policy that offers up to 12 weeks of additional leave to both parents, and a new Carer’s policy that was extensively promoted via a networking session. Their support of shared parental leave has resulted in a 140% increase in uptake, and they are currently advocating for a standalone fertility policy, day one right to paternity leave, extended paternity leave for longer service team members, and an increase in the number of paid dependency days. Quarterly dinners are held to recognise and give deserved exposure of the network to senior leadership. 

Graphic for the Best family network category of the Working Families Best practice Awards