As a technology company, Schneider Electric is committed to ensuring that Life Is On for everyone, everywhere, and at every moment. This corporate promise means helping billions of people worldwide gain access to reliable electricity. This poses a unique challenge, and at the same time a tremendous opportunity for innovation.
Even though realising this ambition will be far from simple, we are confident of being on the right path. Innovation at Schneider Electric stems from a strong alignment between our vision and our ability to harness the diversity of ideas, thoughts, and experiences of our 144,000+ global workforce.
Diversity and inclusion are an integral part of who we are, and what makes us unique. Our ambition is to offer equal opportunities to everyone everywhere, and we want our people — no matter who they are or where in the world they live — to feel uniquely valued and safe to contribute their best. We are certain that diversity of people and an environment of inclusion generate greater engagement, performance, and innovation.
What defines family, life, and work for our people is changing every day. By supporting each employee with personal time when it matters the most, we hope to empower them to manage their unique life and work. Our new Global Family Leave policy is a significant step for us in becoming more inclusive, and thereby enabling our people to be at their best.
Why are we excited about this policy? Because of its dual promise — on the one hand it reinforces our commitment to diversity and inclusion for all employees worldwide, while on the other, its scope and reach differentiates us in the industry. By design the policy reflects the needs of our diverse workforce and therefore provides time-off for key life stages like welcoming a new baby, taking care of sick or elder relatives, and mourning the loss of a family member. The definition of family is also inclusive, allowing us to touch the lives of various communities in our workforce. For instance, the policy extends an equal amount of primary parental leave to a parent by natural birth, a single parent by adoption, or same-sex parent by adoption.
All eligible employees will benefit equally from every provision in the policy:
- Primary Parental Leave — 12 weeks of paid leave for the primary parent (both natural birth and adoptive);
- Secondary Parental Leave — 2 weeks of paid leave for the secondary parent (both natural birth and adoptive);
- Care Leave — 1 week of paid leave to provide care to an elder immediate family member or a family member with a serious health condition or long-term illness;
- Bereavement — 1 week of paid bereavement leave owing to a death in the family.
Schneider Electric countries shall meet these global minimum standards, and encouraged to surpass them as they deem fit. Additionally, they will be equipped with a Family Leave ‘Playbook’ with guidelines and best practices on building and sustaining inclusion and well-being for our people.
A global policy such as this requires tremendous leadership support, and I was happy to see universal commitment from our leaders. They are united in the belief that this policy will help our people to better manage their work and life commitments. Countries are now planning for the implementation — the United States, Canada, and Mexico started to roll out the policy in June 2017; the next wave is slated for January 2018; and full global deployment will be complete by early 2019.
We believe that Great People Make Schneider Electric a Great Company. With this industry-leading initiative, we are poised to take another step forward in our commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as supporting our employees to be at their best in life and work.