Winston & Strawn LLP

Gender Neutral Parental Leave Policy

Challenge

Traditional parental leave policies did not reflect the needs and experiences of many individuals in two­ career households or the desire of many men to participate fully in the lives of their newborn children. The traditional policies also did not address the difficulties of transitioning back to work after having a new baby.

Actions

In May 2016, Winston & Strawn announced a new gender-neutral Parental Leave Program that provides attorneys with 20 weeks of paid parental leave -without distinctions based on gender or primary /secondary caregiver status -to care for and bond with their newborn and newly adopted children. The Firm also launched a Parental Leave Transition Support Program that includes a Parental Leave Liaison, reduced hours targets during "ramp-down" and "ramp-up" periods, and confidential coaching services for attorneys who are new parents. Additionally, the Firm partnered with Milk Stork, a breast milk delivery company, to offer mothers traveling for business easy overnight refrigerated shipping of their breast milk to their babies at home. These changes were designed to enhance our ability to recruit and retain the best attorneys in the next generation.

Outcomes

Since we launched the new Parental Leave Policy, both men and women have taken advantage of all elements of the policy, including taking the full 20 weeks of paid leave and utilizing the coach to help them transition back to work. Additionally, nursing mothers have taken advantage of the free overnight breast milk delivery service when they travel for work. 

Contact

Sylvia James, Director of Diversity & Inclusion: [email protected]

The three goals in the CEO Action Pledge align perfectly with Winston & Strawn's strategic plan, which places a very high priority on diversity and inclusion. We are thrilled to be part of this
important effort action to enhance diversity and inclusion within our industry and the larger business community, and we look forward to sharing information about our own strategies and successes, as well as learning from our peers.

Thomas P. Fitzgerald, Chairman, Winston & Strawn LLP

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