Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO of global private equity firm Blackstone and chair of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, published a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal on June 19. His letter was in response to an earlier WSJ editorial on paid family leave, “The Ivanka Entitlement,” which critiqued the President’s 2018 budget proposal requiring states to provide six weeks of paid family leave for new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents.
Blackstone offers not 6 but 16 weeks of paid maternity leave as well as paternity leave, adoption leave, phase-back to work, caregiving and other benefits that “acknowledge the many challenges of working families.” The leave programs are part and parcel of the company’s strategy to recruit and retain talent, reduce turnover costs and “produce a more diverse and loyal workforce” to enable smarter, better investors. Mr. Schwarzman cites research from Rutgers indicating that women receiving paid leave are 93% more likely to be in the workforce 9-12 months after childbirth than women without paid leave.
In response to the need for more innovative parental leave policies, progressive companies are beginning to create a benefit package that further supports the overall well-being of parents in their workplaces. Paid leave is not merely another incentive to recruit top employees—it can improve retention rates too, saving money on recruitment costs.
The Business Group will provide a forum for discussing evolving corporate policies and diverse points of view around paid family leave at Workforce Strategy 2017: Engaging for Change in Austin, Texas September 26-28. Workforce demographics are changing, and so are employer responses to the question: How can employers better support women and families? Join us for a special plenary session on “The Rise of Women in the Workforce: How Changing Demographics are Redefining Employee Benefits” showcasing new data on what parents say they most value in an employer of choice. Sessions such as “Giving Employees the Gift of Time” and “Aligning Business Needs with Health and Happiness” will share employer learnings, business justification and new insight into the paradoxical link between time off and productivity.
Learn more about this topic by visiting our pages on job satisfaction and paid leave or the members-only publication, The Family-Friendly Employer: Top Companies Take the Lead in Parental Leave and Programs for Working Parents.