Standard Chartered globally has announced the rollout of enhanced parental leave benefits. From 1 September 2023, the Bank will be standardising the amount of parental leave offered for both mothers and fathers and providing both parents with the opportunity for greater equality in caregiving responsibilities for their children.With the enhanced parental leave benefits, employees can look forward to a minimum of 20 weeks of paid parental leave, irrespective of gender, relationship status or how a child comes to permanently join an employee’s family, including adoption.Tanuj Kapilashrami, Group Head of Human Resources, Standard Chartered, said: “We continuously look at how we can introduce progressive benefits that drive inclusion, improve the employee experience, and help colleagues achieve their potential.By standardising parental leave benefits, we are supporting cultural change with regard to shared childcare responsibilities, with the objectives of improving women’s participation and progression in the workplace, positively impacting families’ financial wellbeing, and creating a more inclusive workplace that supports each individual’s unique family planning choices.”“Equity, inclusivity, and diversity are the very DNA of Standard Chartered,” said Bingumal Thewarathanthri, CEO, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka. “We firmly believe that fostering an environment where every colleague feels valued and empowered to succeed is essential for business excellence. This step towards equal parental leave benefits is a testament to our commitment to nurturing our employees’ personal and professional aspirations.”Standard Chartered Sri Lanka’s Head of Human Resources, Ransi Dharmasiriwardhana, further emphasised the Bank’s commitment to setting an example. “Our pledge to uphold values and promote diversity and inclusion remain unwavering and we hope our efforts would inspire other organisations locally to follow suit. Together, we can make strides toward a more inclusive society, taking a stand to lift participation of the female workforce by standardising parental leave across genders, and contributing to enhancing gender equality in employment by reducing the unconscious bias of ‘motherhood penalty’ effecting female participation.”The enhanced benefits have been designed to support all working parents and the family unit. This is part of the Bank’s commitment towards driving an equitable and inclusive culture, where employees are able to achieve their potential while balancing family life with a successful career.