London School of Economics and Political Science, Joint Winner 2012, Best for Fathers Award
The LSE is a leading university employing nearly 3,000 people, of whom 51 percent are men. The LSE is committed to being a strong family-friendly employer. Following the results of the 2010 Top Employers for Working Families Benchmark, LSE decided to increase their levels of support for parents via a strategy of building capabilities and confidence for employees who had a caring responsibility. At the same time managers were up-skilled by providing practical advice in order to create a culture where flexible working is unexceptional, and in so doing, fathers and other parents are supported.
A course was developed called ‘balancing work and being a dad’ for new and expectant fathers. To provide additional support for employees, their partners whether or not they are employees of the LSE, were also invited to the course. The course proved so successful it is now offered on a regular basis. ‘Balancing work and being a dad’ is supplemented by the support of employees trained as mentors for new and expectant parents. LSE has also secured the backing of their top management, with one senior manager trained as a mentor for new fathers, and another senior manager championing the course.
LSE offers two weeks’ fully paid paternity leave, which a father can take in as many segments as he wishes. Before they go on paternity leave fathers are offered a mentor and a meeting with HR and are sent guidance on flexible working along with the relevant paperwork to make a request to work flexibly. LSE would like to create a culture where flexible working is unexceptional, and in so doing, support their fathers.