August 21, 2018

EY Offers Its Fathers 6 Weeks Paid Paternity Leave, But Do Dads Actually Take It?

We've been on an "inclusiveness" kick lately and I'd apologize for that except Colin told me never apologize therefore I will not.

You will recall a previous discussion we had about EY's Inclusiveness Officer (*gag*) boldly shilling to the Huffington Post about dudes' need for flexibility. We're surprised she didn't take the opportunity then to trot out EY's 6 weeks of paid leave for new dads, unless that's a new development?

Just in time for Father's Day, EY sponsored a study by Boston College that found working dads want their time off with newborns too.

“Most fathers in our survey felt that between two to four weeks of paid paternity leave is an appropriate amount, considering both work and family obligations,” said the study's lead author Brad Harrington “although some men seek more as they take on the role of primary caregiver. Organizations that want to retain their best talent must acknowledge that fathers are playing a more active role in their families, and consider paternity leave as an essential benefit. This issue is highly connected to women’s advancement, as men being more active in caregiving can have a tremendous impact on women's ability to succeed and thrive in the workplace.”

Cue the grandstanding from the press release:

Ernst & Young LLP, the sponsor of the Boston College study, is an example of a business that offers — and benefits from — paid paternity leave. Ernst & Young LLP provides its dads up to 6 weeks of fully-paid paternity leave.

“Between 500 and 600 plus men at our firm take paid parental leaves each year — which is roughly consistent with the number of women who take paid parental leaves annually,” said Karyn Twaronite, partner of Ernst & Young LLP and the EY Americas Inclusiveness Officer. “An internal survey recently revealed that our working parents expressed the highest levels of engagement among all US professionals. The business case for benefits like paid paternity leave is clear to us. We are pleased that the progressive men in our workforce consistently utilize it over time and increasingly express a desire for flexibility.”

There are 31,000 people at EY in the U.S. according to this, so that means 2% or so of those are men taking paid parental leave. If that number is "roughly consistent" with the number of women taking paid parental leaves, we're talking 4 or 5% of all EY staff in the U.S. — is that the definition of consistent utilization?

As someone said in our comments, it's not so much offering paid leave that it is the problem, it's the perception if you actually take it:

My wife and I had a baby in November, and multiple people asked me whether or not I got "paternity leave". I thought that was the funniest question ever. I think technically I could take FMLA, but I would never dream of even taking it. I can't imagine the reaction I would get.

I will say that some of that attitude is probably male perpetuated, however. On the same token, if a male coworker took FMLA for paternity leave I would definitely partake in a little joking at their expense.

But hey, that's not the firm's problem. It's there if dads want it.

Related articles

Layoff Watch ’10: Ernst & Young January Edition

Confused doesn’t even begin to describe what were feeling. We are hearing tons of rumors about layoffs in the Ernstiverse this week.

We’ve heard rumors from Denver to the East-Central (fka North-Central) and New York FSO. This includes both client serving professionals and support staff. We have already confirmed that two admins were let go earlier this week in New York.

The timing is especially strange since, you know, it’s January and in some offices the mandatory hours have already rolled out. Even if it were only support staff being let go, the timing is still unheard of. Why wait until January to let people go when having cuts in November? Maybe it’s just us but if we had survived that November cut, we would have thought that our job would be safe until at least the spring.
And since the roundtables seem to be SOP you wouldn’t think they would be anything to worry about but they definitely have people talking and wondering what will go down.

So far, Ernst & Young has not responded to our request for comment.
If you hear anything about your office get in touch in with us and discuss in the comments.

E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award Just Got a Little More Prestigious

Jim Turley3.jpgFrom what we can tell, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award is a BFD. If the other Big 4 have their own versions of this award, we sure haven’t heard of them.
And even if Deloitte were to start handing out the Uncle Dangle Vigilante of the Year award, it would pale in comparison to the EYEY because, now, a past winner is going to be on The Real Housewives of New York City.
Jennifer Gilbert won her EYEY in 1998 for her business, Save the Date, “A dedicated force of event planners who are in tune with the constantly evolving world of corporate events.” She’s even in the EYEY Hall of Fame. Jesus, this thing has a HoF?
J Dawg has to be bursting over this. Shamelessly up on his desk fist pumping, Tiger Woods style. A soon-to-be reality TV star that, God willing, will name drop E&Y every chance she gets on cable would be the best thing that ever happened to the firm. Sorry, NASCAR HoF.
The Real Housewives of New York Adds a Second New Non-Housewife [Gawker]