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How bankers were given permission to take paternity leave

Paternity leave might no longer be the “kiss of death” it used to be for a banker.

A slew of senior (male) bankers are going out of their way to not only take their allowed paternity leave, but to encourage juniors to follow in their footsteps.

Barclays

For instance, Andrew Ross, MD and head of European internet equity research at Barclays, told social media that he was “very grateful for all the support that Barclays provides to working parents,” (blink twice if you need help), and that he was “delighted to be back in the office this week after two months of shared parental leave.”

Barclays’ website encourages its employees to tap into their allowed “shared parental leave”, a scheme that was introduced by the UK government that allowed a couple who had just become parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave between them – although the government department monitoring the scheme estimates that only 2% of parents actually take the opportunity.

Goldman Sachs

Another banker, Goldman Sachs’ Godwin Eke, called the bank’s paternity leave scheme “forward-thinking.” Speaking to Koru Kids, a charity, he said that “men often feel hesitant to disclose with others that they’re taking leave to spend quality time with their newborn. Let’s change that.” He told social media that he was “thankful for being a part of the Goldman Sachs family where men are granted a generous amount of time for paternity leave,” after taking four of his allowed six months off.

Goldman’s paternity leave offer is well-regarded in the industry, with one insider telling Glassdoor that the bank “offers almost 5 months of paternity leave, and is hard to beat.” An article from Starford however, says that both Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan offer 26 weeks of paternity leave since at least 2019.

USA

Although Ross and Eke are in London, it seems culture is changing in the big apple, too. An anonymous US banker called his managers “very supportive”, although he also noted he worked in the middle office. “Maybe easier in my division but I see and feel the bank is taking the right direction with lot of initiatives to support a good work-life balance,” he said.

His bank had recently extended their paternity leave policy to 16 weeks. “Honestly, I felt a bit I was taking advantage of it,” he said, “but all my managers were pushing for me to take the time away.”

If it can change on Wall Street, it can change anywhere in the world, it seems.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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