Fostering Greater Family Equality

By: Teresa MacFarlane, Senior Director, Category Supply Chain

According to the United Nations (UN), there is a real opportunity to rethink and transform the way our societies function in order to foster greater equality for all, which cannot be achieved unless greater equality exists within family units. Each year, in order to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families, we recognize May 15 as International Day of Families.

At Kellogg Company, we’re taking a moment to identify how our expanded benefits are helping to close the equality gap in honor of International Day of Families. With operations and employees around the world, Kellogg offers varying benefits to support our global family including flexible work options and paid time off benefits. In the U.S., we offer Milk Stork – a program for working mothers to send their breast milk home while traveling for work – as well as reimbursement for dependent care while away on business. Recently, Kellogg also expanded our parental benefits in the U.S. to include:

  • Expanded paid parental leave – for mothers and fathers – to 12 weeks;
  • Increased fertility benefit to $30K for assisted reproductive procedures;
  • And increased adoption benefit to $10K per eligible adoption.

Today, there are more young women graduating from school and prioritizing careers in lieu of starting families than there were decades ago. As women age, there are more challenges and complications they face with having children. I know so many people – myself included – that have faced infertility. It requires us to choose a different path when starting a family and it certainly isn’t easy. The fertility financial help Kellogg is offering is life-altering for some employees. Going through treatments can be incredibly expensive, physically exhaustive and mentally draining, and this added benefit helps to lift some of that burden. Women can still be ambitious and pursue careers – doing the same jobs as our male counterparts – and we can also have families. We don’t need to choose one or the other.    

And my story isn’t unique – I have colleagues throughout the company who have benefited tremendously from the expanded offerings and many more who will in the years to come.

For example, my colleague Bert Bachand and his wife recently welcomed their fifth child. He is now taking paternity leave a few months after the baby was born, helping to prolong the time before the baby goes to daycare. He’s able to lead household responsibilities and alleviate a huge burden off his wife, allowing her to go back to work with more peace of mind. I know they are extremely grateful to have this time which is critical for the baby’s development as well as their newly expanded family.

Another colleague, Megan Adams Hagist, with her two young kids, has also benefited from these progressive Kellogg benefits. Megan expressed that the additional time is so beneficial as it allows parents to figure out how to be first-time parents or adjust to having another child in the home. The company has made it clear that it’s willing to step up and be a leader in supporting working parents. As a co-chair for our Women of Kellogg Business Employee Resource Group, Megan and her fellow co-chairs have held discussions over the years with our Total Rewards partners to help guide and support enhancements to our parental benefits.

We believe people must be our competitive advantage – it underpins our Deploy for Growth Strategy, our investment in our employees’ Total Health, and finding the right balance between our personal and professional lives is essential –  it ultimately impacts the way we function as a society – and Kellogg is committed to doing its part. For more stories and information on Kellogg’s Total Health, visit our site now.

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