Accenture named ‘Family Inclusive Workplace’ for a second year

15 December 2022 3 min. read
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A UNICEF Australia and Parents at Work initiative to support employers in creating a more balanced workplace has rolled into its second year, with Accenture receiving fresh certification.

Global professional services firm Accenture has been certified as a Family Inclusive Workplace for the second year running, joining the likes of Grant Thornton, KPMG, and founding partner Deloitte in continuing to uphold and advance standards.

An initiative of UNICEF Australia and Parents at Work launched in mid-2021 to promote workplace balance and family wellbeing, the program has now certified more than 70 large locally-operating corporations.

Accenture named ‘Family Inclusive Workplace’ for a second year

Among other employment benefits, Accenture was noted for its flexible, gender-neutral 18 weeks paid parental leave policy, which over the past year saw male participation hit 70 percent of those accessing leave. The firm also offers up to five days of paid leave to assist with reproductive treatment, as well to support carers or families who have suffered a miscarriage. In addition, Accenture last year launched a School Holiday program.

The uptick in men taking parental leave at Accenture is not simply a matter of policy, but a concerted effort on behalf of the firm to promote the opportunity. Previously, the firm ran a major internal drive to encourage fathers to utilise parental leave, as normalising men being active carers would be essential to achieving a gender equal family-friendly culture. Five years ago, only 56 men out of around 5,000 employees took parental leave.

Along with direct family-friendly policies, Accenture says that its pay equity review at the end of last year confirmed total dollar-for-dollar gender equity across the firm. “We strive to create a culture of equity where people can advance their career no matter when, where and how they work,” commented Accenture A/NZ CEO Peter Burns. “Core to this is our commitment to equal pay for equal work, so neither parent has to suffer a financial penalty.”

Expanding on why the firm signed up for the Family Inclusive Workplace certification program, Sarah Kruger, Accenture’s human resources lead for Australia & New Zealand, explained that when people feel supported to balance their work and family commitments, they are then able to thrive and excel in all areas of their life. Kruger also points to other benefits of progressive employee policies, such as attracting and retaining talent. 

“Family is important, the last 18 months have reinforced that and shown how tough the juggle can be,” Kruger stated in reference to Covid-19 upon Accenture receiving its first certification last year. “That is why as employers we need to build workplaces and cultures that are fit for purpose for today, tomorrow and in ten years’ time. That is why we are delighted to go through this process to ensure that we are delivering for our people.”

Meanwhile, Parents at Work CEO Emma Walsh was delighted by the widespread uptake of the benchmarking program and seeing employers embrace the push to balance working and caring responsibilities. “The future of work will be more family-friendly for thousands of employees as a result,” she said. “And that’s good news not just for individual employees and their families but also for businesses keen to drive greater engagement.”

Earlier this year, Accenture was named one of Australia’s top consulting firms across a range of industry and functional areas of expertise.