Media agency, Initiative announces the launch of Maternity Masterclass, a new national program designed to help parents return to work with more experience than when they left for parental leave.
Through Maternity Masterclass, Initiative will fund accredited and remote learning programs, for mums or dads on parental leave who choose to opt in and enrol in courses, such as a Mini MBA; a Behavioural Science course; or a mentorship training program, to enhance their skills and capabilities.
Erin Jakubans, chief people officer, Initiative Australia said with a workforce made up of 66 per cent women in the 25-34 year-old age group, plus an all agency gender split of more than 60 per cent female, it is a business imperative to continually look for ways to help employees thrive when they’re not at work for extended periods, such as on parental leave.
“Parents can effectively lose a year’s worth of career progression when they take time off to not just have children but raise them during their formative years,” Jakubans explained. “We know many parents feel an extended period of time away from the office can stall their careers, and while Maternity Masterclass is definitely not for everyone, we want those who have the desire to study to be encouraged and helped to do so.
“Innovative programs like Maternity Masterclass are a wonderful way for employees taking parental leave to build their CV and add additional skills to their repertoire,” she said.
The program which comes into effect immediately (and ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8), was developed after benchmarking Australian industry standards and teamed with a close examination of what Initiative staff needed and wanted.
Jakubans continued: “As an industry, we lose talented, strong and experienced people, especially women who are starting or expanding their family, because they may not see their employer as either family friendly, or a viable long-term option.
“At Initiative our parental leave policy and program like Maternity Masterclass make us ‘among the best in the industry’ and are part of our commitment to ensure everyone has the chance to balance work and family life. Ultimately, we hope talent will see Initiative as a long-term career option that is supportive through all different phases of life. Maternity Masterclass helps revamp our talent retention and attraction goals.
Melissa Fein (main photo), CEO Initiative Australia said: “As an industry leader, we are proud to support our employees through every phase of their careers.
“We need to ensure our people have every opportunity to balance work, family, and other responsibilities and have the option to increase their skillset even when on extended leave. Maternity Masterclass program is a welcome addition to Initiative’s industry leading parental leave policy and is designed help parents grow and thrive in their careers,” Fein concluded.
Maternity Masterclass is available to all employees taking primary parental leave for longer than six months and have been an employee of Initiative for more than 12 months. Financial contribution is capped per year. Course options are limitless, but must be accredited and relevant to strengthening the skills and capabilities of the individual plus be taken while the employee is on parental leave.
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