Mastercard boss compares her own battle for better maternity leave a generation ago to paternity leave take up today
Working dads are levelling the playing field for both genders in the workplace. That’s according to global heavyweight Ann Cairns, executive vice-chair of Mastercard.
Speaking about her career to date the high flyer recently recounted her own struggle for better maternity benefits when she was working at Citibank and pregnant. Her then employers took her seriously, she was promoted while on maternity leave 25 years ago.
Now she reckons paternity leave is the next front in the battle for equality. Speaking on the Global Change Agents programme she said, “The great thing is the guys are taking the paternity leave and I think that reflects culture saying, it’s OK to be a dad and a parent. The more that happens, the better it is for women — both because they have their partner at home helping them, but also because it starts to level the playing field at work.”
Mastercard has different policies in different territories around the world but it offers men a minimum of two months off when they become fathers.
Increased paternity leave has been shown to improve outcomes for new mothers and fathers as well as their babies. There is increasing evidence that men, particularly millennial men, look for a good paternity policy when considering taking a new job.