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KPMG LLP, Finalist 2012, Best for Mothers Award

KPMG is a professional services firm employing more than 12,000 people in the UK. Driven by a desire to retain their female employees, and increase the number of women at senior levels of management, KPMG has a comprehensive range of support for working mothers. Well-paid maternity leave is complemented on return to work with a range of flexible working policies. 99 percent of flexible working requests were agreed in 2011, whilst maternity leave women have a ‘Baby Buddy’ who provides support and a link back to the business. Workshops are provided as women transition back into work, helping to smooth and make this process easier. Parents also have access to emergency childcare, a scheme that enables all employees who have children (regardless of their length of service) to take advantage of up to 20 days’ fully subsidised emergency childcare per child, per year.

In addition to the above firm-wide support, in the Management Consulting (MC) function, one-to-one maternity coaching sessions are available before, during and after maternity leave and it is an opportunity for mothers to discuss, in confidence, issues around career, development and combining work and parenting. Senior figures in the function also act as mentors to returning mothers, sending out positive signals about combining work and family life. When women returners (in MC function) go to client meetings for the first time they are supported with a Buddy to help them get back into the client relationship.

As a result, KPMG are able to report good return rates for women on maternity leave of 90 per cent, with a retention rate two years after maternity of 84 per cent.