Press releases

Major public and private sector organisations unite to launch the Paternity Leave Corporate Task Force at World’s Largest Conference on Gender Equality

4 June 2019

The Task Force aims to accelerate progress in bringing the benefits of paternity leave to all, and in doing so, play a significant role in contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 5

The Paternity Leave Corporate Task Force was launched today at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, in the first public announcement since the entity’s formation. The member-led and owned alliance’s purpose is to provide more dads with the opportunity to take paid paternity leave by promoting the adoption of supportive employer policies and helping to dismantle workplace cultural barriers and restrictive societal norms that hinder uptake.

Access to paternity leave positively impacts the emotional and physical wellbeing of children and parents[1], helps share what is currently an unequal load of unpaid care work done by women, and helps progress towards closing the gender pay gap [2]. But fathers today still face significant barriers to taking it. Research in the US found that one in five men are afraid of losing their job if they take the full amount of paternity leave offered[3]. In the UK, only 56% believed that fathers were treated equally to mothers in their workplaces[4].

The Task Force will use its scale and influence to drive meaningful change by sharing good practice, raising awareness of the benefits of paternity leave for individuals, for business and for society, and encouraging better employer provision and employee take up. It has chosen to focus its efforts in three key areas: corporate policy and practice; workplace culture; and social norms and expectations.

Carlos Gil, Vice President Global Brand, Dove Men+Care said: “The Paternity Leave Corporate Task Force recognises that everyone wins when paternity leave becomes the norm – at home, at work and in wider society. Paternity leave should be available for all dads in all types of families, alongside maternity leave for mums. It’s a critical issue that will impact generations to come and we firmly believe that we can achieve more collectively than by acting alone.”

The Task Force was formed following a well-attended exploratory meeting at the 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, which elicited positive and enthusiastic response and participation from several businesses and organisations. It has been co-convened by Dove Men+Care, a major Unilever men’s personal care brand, and Promundo, a global leader working to advance gender equality by engaging men and boys as partners with women and girls. It currently has leadership and senior management representatives from Dove Men+Care, Promundo, Women Deliver and Deloitte, and plans to expand membership in the coming months having secured interest from a number of other global organisations.

Gary Barker, President and CEO, Promundo said: “There is no question that we need to make leave policies universally available for all parents, but being supported at work is a vital factor for parents, including fathers, when deciding if they will take it. We have to come together, both the public and the private sectors, alongside governments, to create a world where dads feel enabled and empowered to be the carers we know they want to be. Together we hope to play a significant role in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: Gender equality and women's empowerment.”

The issue of paternity leave and gender equality was explored during a panel event at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women. Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, ignited the conversation at the Unleashing Paternity Leave’s Power to Advance Gender Equality side event on the second day of conference. The session focused on the importance of equal caregiving between men and women, and the impact of paternity leave on advancing women’s equality and economic prosperity. Panelists included Gary Barker, President and CEO, Promundo, and Katja Iversen, President and CEO, Women Deliver.

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Find more information about the Paternity Leave Corporate Task Force. Interested parties and organisations can contact the Task Force Secretariat to find out more.

About Paternity Leave Corporate Task Force
The Paternity Leave Corporate Task Force is a member-led and owned alliance that aims to identify, promote, accelerate and bring to scale commercially and societally sustainable solutions that will result in improved access and uptake of paternity leave for all men. The Task Force is formed of leadership and senior management representatives from global private and public organisations including Unilever’s Dove Men+Care, Promundo, Women Deliver and Deloitte. 

About Dove Men+Care
Since launch in 2010, Dove Men+Care has championed an inclusive vision of masculinity, expanding opportunities to care, and what it means to be a man and a father in today’s world. It is our continued belief that care is the best of a man, because when men care for themselves and others, there is a positive impact on them and society.

That’s why Dove Men+Care is championing paternity leave globally. We want to give men greater opportunities and access to care, and the freedom to choose the best way to do so for themselves and those around them. So that every dad gets the chance to care for the people who matter most. We are doing this by:

Celebrating, valuing and appreciating men in their role as involved caregivers to encourage and support access and uptake to paternity leave, to include:

  • Conducting and releasing global research to understand the barriers and opportunities relating to paternity leave globally. 
  • Launching our Pledge for Paternity Leave in the US earlier this year in partnership with Alexis Ohanian. A $1 million dollar fund was made available to support new or expectant dads whose current circumstances mean they aren’t able to take paternity leave. Our ambition is to expand this pledge globally in line with local needs to enable everyone to support the movement for paid leave.

Advocating for corporate cultural and policy change, to include:

  • The Dove Men+Care Global Paternity Leave Standard gives all fathers at Unilever a minimum of three weeks’ paid leave, rolling out globally by the end of 2019. 
  • Launching the Paternity Leave Corporate Taskforce, partnering with progressive companies to drive the structural, policy and cultural changes required to make paternity leave more accessible.

Creating valuable resources to support dads and help them take positive action in their own lives regarding paternity leave:

  • Launching a digital Paternity Leave Resources hub on dove.com with resources for dads and their networks. 
  • We are also exploring partnership opportunities with like-minded companies and organisations such as UNICEF, to expand our ability to support dads in caregiving roles.

About Promundo
Promundo is a global leader in promoting gender justice. It believes that working with men and boys to transform harmful gender norms and unequal power dynamics is a critical part of the solution to achieving gender equality. For the empowerment of women and girls to continue advancing, men and boys must see themselves as partners in the process.

About Women Deliver
Women Deliver is a leading global advocate that champions gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women. Our advocacy drives investment – political and financial – in the lives of girls and women worldwide. We harness evidence and unite diverse voices to spark commitment to gender equality. And we get results. Anchored in sexual and reproductive health, we advocate for the rights of girls and women across every aspect of their lives. We know that investing in girls and women will deliver progress for all.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.

Please see deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NWE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

For more information, please visit www.deloitte.co.uk

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

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