UPDATE: Sept. 1, 2020: A DHL Supply Chain spokesperson — when asked about the company's one week of paid leave available to other birth parents — said the company remains in a "consultation period" and that the change has not yet taken effect; "There are nuances that we have to work through and we have received feedback on that specific point."
- As part of an organizational commitment to "attract, retain and advance" more women in its workforce, DHL Supply Chain announced it will offer 12 weeks of maternity leave at 100% of pay, effective Jan. 1, 2021. This will also apply to adoptive parents.
- This policy change is part of a three-tiered approach to inclusive culture that includes ramped up college recruiting, flexible work to promote work-life balance and content to promote inclusion, including its "100 Years 100 Women Campaign" highlighting the contributions of women to the supply chain industry, DHL said.
- "The industry is making progress in attracting and developing more female leaders, but at DHL Supply Chain we want to find even more ways to create a flexible work environment that supports the advancement of women across the organization," Scott Sureddin, CEO, DHL Supply Chain, North America said. "The updated maternity leave policy is just one of the many ways we are supporting our employees and their advancement within the company."
DHL said it enhanced its maternity leave benefits to become a more inclusive workplace. Recent research shows that this change has helped others. For example, Johnson & Johnson, a company named among the "top 10%" of employers for its overall diversity efforts by Diversity Best Practices, a division of Working Mother Media, has been the top-ranked employer for its "focus on family-friendly benefits."
In those rankings, Working Mother said the 100 best companies provided 11 weeks of paid maternity leave on average, and more than half offered the same amount of leave to fathers.
Working parents have long faced challenges balancing work and childcare, even before the pandemic. A Pew Research Center survey from 2019 found that while a majority (55%) of mothers are employed, they are more likely than employed dads to say "being a working parent makes it harder for them to advance in their job or career." The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated these challenges.
Over the past few months, it has been reported that women are leaving their jobs to focus on parental duties and also having worse pandemic experiences overall than men, prompting some to ponder whether the pandemic is reversing progress on gender equality in the workplace. This problem also reveals the pandemic’s disproportionate impact along racial and class lines, with essential workers also hit particularly hard.