The premise that a more equitable gender balance within organisations leads to improved financial performance is now well established. Now, States and organisations need to reckon with this fact if they want to boost economic growth.
At MCB, we are not only convinced that our success hinges on that principle but we also want to create a workplace that ensures the wellbeing of all our employees. You are no doubt familiar with our Corporate Sustainability Programme, Success Beyond Numbers, crafted in 2018. This led us to initiate a reflection on fundamental issues, such as the importance of a dynamic local and sustainable economy and an inclusive prosperity – a timely topic, I dare say – and more recently, to adopt a Gender Equality charter.
One of the commitments stemming from the charter is an increase in paternity leave for our male employees, regardless of their marital status. We are especially proud of this measure because it reinforces the idea of equal partnership between men and women in all spheres of life at a time when family dynamics face great pressure with the arrival of a new child.
Studies on the impact of increased paternity leave on the family unit and on the relationship between parents leave no doubt that there is a boost in happiness and fulfillment “that could also extend to the workplace”, according to a research by McKinsey. More to the point, it has been found that enhanced paternity leave can level the playing field for working mothers by allowing fathers to carry some of the burden, and eventually lead to a fairer relationship.
The increasingly important role of fathers in modern families where both parents are engaged in paid work is a growing trend. But social and cultural mores have to shift to reflect the new economic realities. And in turn, new work arrangements like working from home, will provide flexibility for both mothers and fathers to share the household chores, for the benefit of the family. There will also be a need to provide more balance and better boundaries between family and work life, thanks to good work-life balance practices promoted by the organisation.
At MCB, we aim to do this for all our employees and we are taking concrete measures to promote gender equality within our organisation.
We recently published a special edition of the MCB Focus on the economic benefits of gender equity, which I urge you to peruse. I hope that it can inspire other organisations to prioritise the gender equity agenda.
Change is happening at an increasingly rapid pace, driven by events often beyond our control. Every prediction points to a future mired in volatility. In the face of this, we should harness all our resources and help them flourish, so that we can reinforce our resilience.