It’s great to be back! We’ve had a bit of a break and we’re back with a new series talking all about Fertility in the workplace. As well as doing the podcast, Natalie’s voiceover work and Kate’s consulting; for the last 18 months or so, both Natalie and Kate have been working with organisations to help put fertility in the workplace firmly on their wellbeing agenda.
How does the landscape at work look?
Kate and Natalie discuss what we've heard from our work and how in light of, how in the last few months, a number of organisations have published fertility and pregnancy loss policies.
Over the coming weeks we will be hearing from different organisations who are speaking out about their work to support employees on their paths to parenthood and this new series of the podcast has been created alongside an exciting launch of a brand new training and policy programme from Fertility Matters at Work which we'll be talking about in the coming weeks too.
We’ll be sharing best and worst examples of fertility in the workplace and, as always, sharing your personal experiences, so we want you to get in touch and share yours stories which can you do right here
In the first episode of our new series on Fertility Matters at Work we’re absolutely delighted to welcome Channel 4 to the podcast. Navene Alim who is a senior lawyer within the corporate legal team at C4 and Landy Slattery, creative director of All 4, Channel 4’s(CH4) on-demand platform. Both are the co-founders and co-chairs of the 4 Women network, and we’re talking all about CH4’s Pregnancy Loss Policy that was launched in April 2021.
When the pregnancy loss policy was launched, CH 4 stated that “The policy which was believed to be the world’s first is to support both women and men who have been affected: whether it happens directly to them, their partner or their baby’s surrogate mother, regardless of the nature of their loss, and whatever their length of service. It also recognises pregnancy loss as an experience not isolated to women or heterosexual couples.”
Why was the policy developed?
Following the huge momentum and notoriety that came from CH4's menopause policy the 4 Women network wanted to build on this. After surveying employees to find out the most important issues, pregnancy loss was identified as a huge issue for the workforce. They found that people were struggling in silence and making excuses for needing time off. CH4 were due to air a new series – Baby Surgeons delivery miracle babies ( quoted incorrectly in the pod ) and they wanted to get a policy in place to hit with the time the series aired.
CH4 share how they implement the policy they developed and wanted to ensure that training would be available for managers and colleagues to help them, support employees, appropriately. They are actively trying to find the right solutions to provide the correct support. Their policy is the first step in acknowledging that pregnancy loss is part of a woman’s working life. Having the conversations and the educational piece is the first steps in changing organisational culture.
Were people worried about being passed over for promotion?
These issues did feature as a concern from their focus group of 80 employees who helped inform the policy. As the policy is so new, they are yet to have the opportunity to assess how it has landed within the organisation, however they’re finding that other conversations such as childlessness has started to be discussed, which would have never occurred had it not been for the policy.
What about Men?
Landy and Naveen talk about the importance that the policy doesn’t just focus on women, but it is there for men too. Any man at C4, can access the policy and take 2 weeks off without explanation or proof of pregnancy loss.
How else do they support their staff, such as the Line Managers who might find these conversations tricky?
We ask if C4 have plans to support line managers who themselves may find these conversations triggering? The policy includes resources that anyone can access for support as well as a ‘Pregnancy loss champion’ who is available to offer support on a human-to-human basis.
To find out more about CH4's policy click here