Why is HSBC committed to being a parent-friendly workplace?
I’ve worked for HSBC for well over a decade, far before any thoughts of having children. But one thing that continued to resonate, wherever I have worked in the bank, is the feeling that the organization is much more than an employer paying my salary. I have felt a genuine care for my wellbeing, my professional and my personal goals. When I got married, the bank was so supportive with some generous leave for my honeymoon, and when I was pregnant with both my children, the feeling of personal support and care has been felt. My line managers have both been hugely supportive, and following both maternity leaves I’ve come back to bigger, broader and more challenging roles. I certainly haven’t felt personally that having a child has held me back in my career (although I do appreciate that this is not always the case for all women across all industries).
Share a parent-friendly workplace initiative that HSBC excels with and the impact it is having on the workplace culture.
I absolutely love our employee resource groups. These are groups of like-minded individuals who dedicate time outside of their day-to-day roles to support a cause close to their heart. For me, that cause was to provide support, advocacy and education for our working parents and caregivers, which is why I am heavily involved in our Nurture Employee Resource Group. It’s an opportunity to work on something outside of my day job, and to connect with colleagues from across the organization. It’s allowed me to broaden my network and learn lots of new skills and we’ve also seen real change. We advocate for our colleagues, we arrange educational sessions with industry experts around topics such as child mental health, financial parenting, childhood illness, burnout for parents etc. We also have a community focus, establishing support groups for colleagues to connect with others in similar life stages – looking to start a family, newly returning to work, kids at Pre-K through to those looking to start university. These groups are still in their infancy, but we’re already seeing a great impact.
What are some of the business benefits you see from HSBC being a parent-friendly workplace?
When you have engaged staff who feel supported to be themselves, you have a stronger and more vibrant company culture. During COVID-19, when many were working remotely while juggling childcare and homeschooling, we saw a real shift and a more human approach to work life. Children unexpectedly featuring in zoom calls, the odd cat sat on someone’s lap, parents feeling empowered to step away for an hour to support their kids with Algebra. This really showed how we can support our teams and allow them to be their whole self, and not have to apologise for a huge part of their life, their family. I really think this is so special and long may it continue!