Coty is inaugurating a gender-neutral parental leave policy.
All Coty employees, regardless of gender or whether they are extending their families through pregnancy, adoption or surrogacy, will be allowed the same number of paid weeks of parental leave, effective Nov. 1, Coty said on Wednesday.
Coty’s chief human resources officer, Anne Jaeckin, said in the statement that “in line with our new corporate purpose, vision and values, we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive workplace for our people, and tackling outdated gender stereotypes. We hope that this new policy will make a meaningful difference for new parents and support them in this very important chapter of their lives.”
A representative for Coty did not respond to a request for comment seeking more information on how many days employees in different geographies would have off for parental leave.
Coty has had a global omni-working policy since May 2021, where Coty employees have the ability to work remotely for up to 50 percent of their schedule as the beauty giant, like many other companies, shifted to a hybrid work model post-COVID-19.
“Our HR team has been making bold systemic changes to our business — like our flexible working model and now our new gender-neutral parental leave policy — to empower our people to perform at their best,” said a Coty representative in an email to WWD, adding that the company is slated to roll out further policy changes of the like in the near future. “We are proud of how far we have come as a company but also humbly acknowledge that true representation and inclusion is a continuing journey.”
The case for gender-neutral parental leave has been gaining momentum in recent years, with The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. having been sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2017 for only providing new fathers two weeks of paid leave for child bonding, while new mothers were granted time to recover from childbirth, as well as six weeks of paid leave for child bonding.
In 2018, Lauder amended its policy, extending parental leave to 20 weeks, regardless of gender and inclusive of those adopting or fostering a child, and offering six additional weeks of back-to-work flexibility.
Coty’s decision is a reflection of a larger movement toward gender-neutral parental leave regulation as gender stereotypes designating mothers as primary caregivers grow increasingly outdated, and employees demand policies that cater to a culturally diverse workforce.
Coty’s CEO Sue Nabi has been making changes across all levels of Coty’s business, from executive hires to corporate priorities, as part of a turnaround strategy that has Coty showing meaningful signs of financial progress for the first time in years.