An Office That Offers Double Pay To Women Back From Maternity Leave? Believe It.
5:00 pm, April 19th | by Rebecca Srulowitz
Ladies, it’s time to pack your bags and move to Australia. Aside from the gorgeous beaches and perpetually sunny weather, it’s also home to one of the best companies ever: Insurance Australia Group (IAG). Now, I know what you’re thinking– working for an insurance company does not sound like fun. Except, get this– the company is unveiling a new policy where women who return to work after maternity leave will get double pay for their first six weeks back at the office. DOUBLE PAY! So seriously, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags!
This, by the way, is in addition to the fact that the company already has one of the most generous maternity packages around, with 14 weeks of paid leave.
Compare that to the U.S.’s policy regarding maternity leave and it’s positively dreamy. Take, for instance, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which mandates that companies over a certain size give up to 12 weeks of leave. That’s all fine and dandy, except for one catch– these companies are not required to pay for the time off. And, as it turns out, the United States is one of just four countries in the world without a national law requiring paid time off for new parents.
And we thought we were progressive. Jeez.
So back to IAG. The company seems to be incredibly supportive of working moms (as you have hopefully already inferred). As the International Business Times reported, more than half of their 10,000 employees are women, 500-600 of whom go on maternity leave each year. Moreover, the company’s goal is to have one third of all senior management positions filled by women by 2015.
Which makes me wonder — instead of taking the at least 16-hour journey to Australia, why not have more American companies adopt this type of policy? The ranks of women in senior management positions would swell, bringing much-needed diversity to our biggest businesses, and, at the very least, these companies would save on recruiting efforts to bring in temporary employees.