Life at Deloitte

Peace of mind: Inclusive culture + paid family leave

Caring for caregivers as they grow careers

Caring for our caregivers

Culture of inclusion and well-being at all stages of professional and family life

At Deloitte, our family-friendly culture isn’t just about maternity leave. Our inclusive approach and expanded paid family leave program recognize changing family dynamics and evolving needs that emerge at different phases of life and career.

Deloitte’s new paid family leave program gives our people up to 16 weeks of paid leave, which can be used for happy occasions—to bond with family after the arrival of a child—or for challenging ones, like the illness or incapacity of a spouse, partner, sibling, parent, or grandparent. It’s gender-neutral—fathers, sons, husbands, and brothers can take the leave, relieving some of the often seen cultural pressure on women to be the default caregiver. And it’s flexible. The time can be taken all at once or in increments as the need requires.

The value of the new program may not be readily apparent to those who haven’t needed it. But it’s not hard to imagine what impact it can have.

Amy Leonard, a communications manager in Deloitte Services LP, understands how the unexpected can change the course of one’s career. Before joining Deloitte eight years ago, her 52-year-old father suffered a massive stroke. She dropped out of the workforce for a year while she and her mother dealt with the logistics of hospitalizations, doctor visits, insurance, and critical early rehabilitation. About Deloitte’s new paid leave program, Leonard says, “The fact that it even exists tells our people ‘We support you disconnecting and focusing on your family when you need to.’ That gives you real peace of mind. Because if something catastrophic happens to a loved one, believe me—your professional life is the last thing you want to be worried about.”

It’s not just having programs in place that is important. There needs to be a workplace culture to support it, too.

When he first started with Deloitte Consulting LLP, manager Donald Nadalin was taking turns with family members caring for his grandmother. “As a new hire straight out of business school, I wasn’t sure how it would be received,” Nadalin says. “She wasn’t my child, or my spouse, so I didn’t know how to explain this responsibility that I had to my extended family.” He eventually learned that by being open about his circumstances, his manager could work with him to arrange work and travel so they wouldn’t conflict with his commitment to his grandmother. That experience was good practice. It gave him the confidence to be transparent about the support he needed to succeed both at work and home when he and his wife brought home their twin baby boys.

For Patrick Smith, Deloitte Tax LLP senior manager, he saw the benefit of being able to take a few weeks off immediately to help his wife when she gave birth several weeks earlier than planned. “With the new extended paid family leave program, I don’t think of leave as just for emergencies, I can plan on savoring each moment I am able to focus on my family.”

Smith says the Deloitte culture that values well-being and recognizes different family needs benefits him as well as his wife, who is also a working professional with heavy travel demands. “We have confidence that we can each commit fully and thrive in both our personal and professional lives. Because of that, we can just be ourselves–with our colleagues, with each other, and with our family.”

“Gender-neutral policies are the best thing that could have happened to working families,” says Deloitte & Touche LLP senior manager Betsy Zangara, who was profiled in Working Mother Magazine when it named Deloitte as one of its top 10 Best Companies of 2016. Though her husband, a partner in an international law firm, was able to take some time off after the birth of their twins, Zangara applauds policies giving men an equal amount of paid family leave as women. “Fathers can be more connected at home, mothers can return to work more assured, the children get more of their parents. Everybody benefits.”

Photo by Kristy Walker for Fortune Most Powerful Woman

Deloitte US CEO Cathy Engelbert was recently named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women and recently shared this insight on the development of the extended family leave policy:

“I’ve been there. I’m still there. Over the course of my career, I’ve been raising two children, I have helped a sibling through six months of chemotherapy treatments, and am now thinking about what I will need to do one day to care for an aging parent. Now, our people will have more help when thinking about their own life events.

We believe our new paid family leave program is a differentiator for talent and will not only help us retain our current people but attract top talent as well. This is how innovative organizations in the age of transformation can do not just what’s right for their people, but what’s smart for their businesses, too.”

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