OC&C Strategy Consultants equalises paid parental leave

27 June 2023 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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The Australian employees of global strategy consultancy OC&C are set to benefit from a new worldwide paid parental leave policy introduced to help address the current industry gender imbalance.

Global consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants has launched an equalised paid parental leave policy for all of its employees across its 12 offices worldwide, including in Australia. All parents, regardless of gender, will now have equal access to shared leave, depending on what personally works for them.

OC&C Strategy Consultants entered the Australian market in 2021, and shortly after its arrival merged with local player Australian Strategy Partners.

OC&C Strategy Consultants equalises paid parental leave

“Equalising paid parental leave is one of our many commitments to diversity and inclusion at OC&C,” said Milan-based Diversity & Inclusion partner Simona Dossena, who added: “By tackling historical imbalances between maternity and paternity leave, the firm is eradicating barriers to gender equality and supporting its employees’ life-defining moment. Our employee-led Parental Network has been a particularly important contributor to shaping this policy.”

Described as a consulting market-leading proposition, the new policy is intended to promote shared care through both the levelling of paid leave and introduction of flexibility as to how it’s currently divided among carers, empowering “fathers and other non-birth parents” to spend a greater amount of time at home following the arrival of a child.

OC&C was initially established in London in 1987 by ex-Booz Allen partners Chris Outram and Geoff Cullinan, but is now overseen by global managing partner and company veteran Will Hayllar. The consultancy has further offices spanning Germany, Holland, Poland, France, Italy, the US and Brazil, along with Asia Pacific branches in Greater China and Australia, the latter which is led by former EY-Parthenon executive and Kearney partner Jeremy Barker.

Speaking on the new parental policy, Barker said the ‘equliased’ point was a key plank in the firm’s push towards greater gender equality, stating that “we believe that it’s market leading and will help position OC&C Strategy Consultants as the best home for the best strategy talent in Australia,” before then further quoting the firm’s London-based global people director Danielle Lestrade, who he described as the architect of the new policy.

“We wholeheartedly believe that becoming a parent should not be a barrier to advancing in your career,” Lestrade said. “We live in a time of dual-career households, be that through choice or necessity, and traditional parental policies are increasingly coming under scrutiny for not reflecting this dynamic. Instead, these traditions push birth-givers, mothers, or primary adopters to do the lion’s share of early life childcare while the other parent returns to work.”

Lestrade continued on the point of an unequal approach to childcare policies, which she says ultimately impacts on the career progression of female staff and drives the gender imbalance at senior levels within the consulting industry. “Our new policy will empower fathers, and other non-birth parents, to spend more time at home following the arrival of a child, enabling their partner to return to work at a point that suits that individual family,” Lestrade concluded.