Want to progress fast? Then pick a firm with a generous SPL policy #fillingthegaps
The obvious way that Shared Parental Leave encourages sexual equality in the work place is by encouraging Dads to share the joy of child care with their partners, ergo women can focus on their careers to a greater extent than previously.
However, as my experience of SPL continues, I'm seeing more and more nuanced ways that it will help overcome less-obvious gender biases in the workplace - and generally benefit all workers in the business.
The below is a simple but overlooked example:
When a parent goes on any form of extended parental leave, typically a junior colleague has to step up to take on the work load they leave behind. This is great for the junior as it exposes them to new and more challenging experiences and places greater responsibility upon them.
Traditionally however, the person removed from the business was always a women. Men never gave way allowing a junior to fill the gaps.
The effect of this is self-reinforcing - teams dominated by men would present less opportunities to juniors as there would be less gaps opening up due to parental leave.
If more men take up SPL, this will mean more opportunities for juniors to fill the gap they leave, whilst away from the business on SPL.
I.e. a generous SPL policy is a good thing for ALL JUNIORS in the business, as opportunities for greater responsibility will be more frequent.
If you want to progress fast in your career, it therefore makes sense to pick a firm that encourages SPL, whether or not you intend to be a parent anytime soon.
© Joseph Young / www.dadonspl.co.uk