With 141,000 employees, Ernst and Young see a lot of people come and go, meaning maintaining talented women and investing in the development of their career is extremely important.
The maternity coaching scheme is available to all women across the firm and has already been taken up by 240 women throughout the UK and Ireland.
The aim of the scheme is to ensure that employees receive the correct support during all stages of their careers, especially during the huge transition of becoming pregnant, being pregnant and having a new addition to take care of.
Those who choose to participate will receive four coaching sessions before, after and during their maternity leave, with topics covered ranging from managing relationships with colleagues and clients through to alternative working patterns and reintegration into the workplace.
Line managers who have a team member going on maternity leave will also attend a coaching session in order to help them provide the correct level of support and contact during maternity leave.
Though the scheme is still too new to establish whether or not it successfully improves employee retention, feedback so far has been largely positive.
Liz Bingham, a partner at Ernst and Young and head of the programme, said:
“Maternity coaching isn’t about informing staff about our corporate policies. It’s about giving our people the confidence to have conversations about their working arrangements, keeping them informed whilst on leave and helping them transition and reintegrate back into the workplace.
“The scheme was initially aimed at women and their line managers, but the anecdotal feedback has been so positive that we are planning to open it out to new fathers.”
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