Encouraging equal parental leave, instead of just maternity leave, could entirely mitigate any negative impact on women's advancement in the workforce after having children, new research has suggested.
Implementing maternity leave alone is likely to hold women back from career progression, but when companies encourage parental leave for men and women, the negative impact on women's advancement is cancelled out completely, the research by Accenture and published ahead of International Womens' Day tomorrow found.
The 'Getting to Equal 2018' report identified what it said are 40 key factors to foster gender equality in Irish workplaces, including that gender diversity is a priority for management. Equal parental leave for men and women, scrapping dress codes and having a diversity target were also found to be among the most influential factors in supporting the progress of women.
The research was based on a survey of 22,000 working people in 34 countries - including more than 700 in Ireland. It measured perceptions of factors that contribute to their workplace cultures.
The majority (59pc) said they work in organisations that don't have a women's network, but women do better where one is active. And the research said three times more women are on the fast-track in companies that already have at least one female senior leader.