08 Mar 2022
At Frasers Property, we want each employee to have the best experience possible. This means creating and fostering an empathetic culture that is open and inclusive, while following our core values. This International Women’s Day (IWD), Frasers Property marks its focus for Equity and an inclusive workplace culture by committing to an inclusive parental leave policy for all employees, while further advancing our commitment to the empowerment of women. The new parental leave policy strengthens the Group’s existing provisions to attract, retain and advance women.
Research has demonstrated the strong business case for both gender diversity as well as ethnic and cultural diversity in corporate leadership (McKinsey). Diverse companies are more profitable and outperform less diverse peers.
For Equity’s sake
As a purpose-driven company focused on – Inspiring experiences, creating places for good – we have refined our approach to Diversity & Inclusion to now encompass Equity to make Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) a cornerstone of how we evidence our Purpose.
At Frasers Property, an inclusive culture that unlocks the power of diverse teams supports the diversity of our business and people. This means creating safe places where everyone belongs, is mutually respected, and feels empowered to be authentic at work. Working collaboratively makes us progressively stronger and better as an organisation, which helps our people to thrive day to day.
Many companies approach diversity as something that’s good for business, and that’s certainly true. At Frasers Property, this is about maximising the inherent value of our multi-asset class, multi-market business. We want to ensure people of all backgrounds can do their best work when treated with respect, dignity and fairness.
Enhancing our parental leave policy helps us empower all employees and their families. It directly promotes health and well-being through equitable opportunities in the workplace and fairer gender relations within the family. It also lowers barriers preventing men from taking parental leave, while enabling women to achieve their full potential.
Approaching paid parental leave from an equity and inclusion standpoint
The main components of Frasers Property’s approach to parental leave policy include:
Across the Group, we are supportive of extending gender-neutral, compassionate leave to support pregnancy loss. We want to support our employees who may undergo this distressing and difficult loss. In execution, each market and business unit will align their approach in line with national policies and local practices. More could be offered, depending on the individuals’ needs and/or local laws.
In Singapore, we will provide three days of paid compassionate leave for female employees and male employees whose partners experience a miscarriage. This is above and beyond existing leave entitlements. For stillbirth in fuller term pregnancies, we will provide the full 16-week maternity and two-week paternity leave.
For fathers in Singapore, we will introduce at least two weeks of paternity leave for all male employees regardless of their nationalities to allow fathers to take time off to care for their partners and new-born children. We also recently introduced a flexible working policy in Singapore that allow employees, including parents and caregivers, greater flexibility to work from home post-pandemic, in recognition of the new normal at work.
The Group will continue to further develop flexible working arrangements and support programmes for employees returning to work after parental leave. Frasers Property will begin implementing the policy at our headquarters in Singapore in 2022, while our operations in Australia, the UK and Europe already have enhanced parental leave policy. There will be an ongoing global review and enhancements across the markets we operate in over the course of the year.
Our employees in Singapore, Australia and the UK also have access to an Employee Assistance Programme to seek help for personal or work-related issues. A team of specialist counsellors are on hand to provide ‘in-the-moment’ professional and confidential assistance or counselling for our employees. A select group of our human resource representatives and department heads have also been trained on Emotional First-Aid to recognise and support mental wellness needs.
Empowering our female employees
As a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Women’s Empowerment Principles and Urban Land Institute Singapore’s Champions of Change pledge, we strive to adopt best practices in promoting gender equity and women’s empowerment in the workplace and community. Across all levels, we are committed to doing more through our DEI Framework. Our workforce continues to be gender-balanced with a 50:50 ratio, with women representation in our senior management team improvement from 38% to 42% over the last year. This is positive progress and we will continue to support women in moving to senior ranks.
DEI needs to be a business imperative. Hence, we recognise it is a continuous learning and progress, and we will promote a more inclusive and progressive workplace culture through employee engagement, training and education to raise greater awareness. Within the next two years, we will be rolling out a Group-wide three-tiered learning programme for our leaders, people managers and all employees, which includes topics on inclusive leadership and intelligence as well as unconscious bias. Meanwhile, all employees will attend a mandatory e-learning programme on DEI in our drive to promote a more inclusive and progressive workplace culture.
To encourage conversations on women advancement at the workplace, we are also organising various #IWD2022 activities across the Group. This year, we are taking a leaf from the UN Women’s theme of ‘gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow’ by celebrating the diversity of our female colleagues from around our footprint who are making a difference to our sustainability journey. Read about them, stay tuned for further updates and leave us your thoughts!