This is what Squire Sanders has to say about the Mumsnet Family Friendly programme:
The legal sector has a reputation for being male-dominated and having a long-hour culture. At Squire Sanders 58% of our solicitors are women.
To ensure our working parents have career opportunities that match their aspirations, we are continually developing and promoting policies and procedures to ensure that a work/life balance exists within our firm.
Our family-friendly policies include:-
• Enhanced maternity and adoption leave:-
o Allowing a gradual return from work on full pay.
o Personal support provided before, during and after maternity leave.
o Keeping in touch’ days
o Regular maternity newsletters provide an opportunity to advise on any new vacancies or promotional opportunities.
o Additional paid leave for fertility treatment
o Enhanced paternity leave
o Parental Leave
o Ability to purchase extra holidays
Our flexible working policy is available for all, and actively promoted to those on maternity leave to allow consideration of their options at an early stage.
We have a variety of different working arrangements, including flexi-time, staggered hours, job-sharing and working from home.
We also provide laptops and blackberries to over 70% of the UK workforce providing increased flexibility.
All of this has had a positive impact on both recruitment and retention, and are well regarded by existing and potential employees.
We provide flexible benefits for all employees, many of which are flexible to suit individual needs. These include childcare vouchers, extended private medical and dental insurance and health care plans for the whole family.
Our ‘Lifestyle’ choices also provide discounted vouchers for fun activities such as day trips to theme parks, beauty spas, holidays, and shopping vouchers. Each employee has their own online benefit account, allowing employees and their families’ access at home as well as in the workplace.
We also want all our employees to get fit and healthy both during and after work. We offer gym contributions, and also provide yoga and pilates lessons during lunchtime. Health screening is also provided for those wanting a health “MOT” without visiting their GP, along with a family-centred employee assistance help-line. This confidential 24-hour helpline is available to all employees and their families to help them deal with everyday situations, such as making childcare or eldercare arrangements to more serious issues.
The services and policies available are continually promoted via email and the firm's intranet.
Work/life balance and opportunity for all are top of our priorities, and we monitor our progress through our Diversity Committee group. This includes the recent introduction of a Parents & Carers, and Flexible Working network groups to provide more effective communication, support and improved working environment for all our employees.
In addition to this will have a separate Women’s Initiative Group which reviews mentoring, fairness in career progression, review policies and training opportunities. The group is integral in ensuring there is opportunity and fairness for all.
There is plenty that Squire Sanders is doing, and we know there is plenty more to be done! We aspire to be an organisation that recruits and retains talented people, recognising the skills and attributes women can bring.