June 1, 2022 marked Global Day of Parents – a day declared by the United Nations General Assembly to honour parents around the world, and the perfect opportunity to give you a sneak peek into what it’s like to be a parent at DNEG.
It is no secret that parenthood isn’t always easy and sometimes the fast pace of our industry makes it challenging to find the right balance between family life and work. Over the years DNEG has been implementing a set of initiatives to help parents – biological and adoptive – to find and nurture this balance.
Parental Leave Coaching and supporting our staff when they return to work
Taking a significant leave of absence from work and shifting focus to parenting a new child is a big transition. Our Parental Leave Coaching programme focuses on giving support to employees who are taking extended parental leave – such as maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave – in the form of a series of coaching sessions as they go through this period of their lives. The programme aims to provide coachees with time and space to take stock, enabling them to return to work with confidence, able to flourish and comfortably sustain the competing priorities of career and family. Eva Kilikitas, HR Business Partner in London shares her experience as a parental leave coach:
“I am passionate about helping working parents, and striving for a more inclusive and supportive working environment. Being a mother myself and having been on maternity leave twice, I understand the importance of having the kind of support provided by DNEG’s Parental Leave Coaching programme. It gives parents the opportunity to reflect on their achievements, to focus on what is important and to give them the confidence to return to work and achieve what they want to achieve.”
Grishma Ginwalla, HR Manager in Mumbai, talks about her return to work after becoming a mother, and taking a 2 year break to look after her little one:
“When I got back to DNEG after my son’s birth I was ready for a new challenge at work. I came back with even more verve, passion, and zest towards my job and the tasks at hand. I reached out to my manager to continue a discussion about my career growth that we had started before I went on maternity leave – not long after I was offered a promotion! I have received a lot of understanding, support, and patience from my peers and superiors alike, before and after my pregnancy. True talent and hard work is recognised here at DNEG.”
Flexible Working Arrangement
DNEG recognises that some of our crew members with parental, caregiver or other responsibilities may need more work flexibility than others. Available at our studios in London and North America, DNEG’s Flexible Working Arrangement policy enables eligible employees to make a flexible working arrangement request – reviewed on a case-by-case basis by our People Team. Maddy Claeys, Talent Acquisition Manager, and Daniel Jenkins, Head of FX at our Vancouver studio benefit from DNEG’s Flexible Working Arrangement policy:
“I was working part time when I returned to DNEG after my maternity leave. When I got promoted into a TA Manager position it was really important to me to increase my hours to help better support my team – I still wanted to ensure a balance with my home life though. With DNEG’s Flexible Working Arrangement policy I work 4 days and have a dedicated day during the week that I can spend with my children. I am a better colleague when I get this day and a better parent. It allows for a better work life balance and I feel good knowing that I can fully show up to both my jobs.“
“Working out a flexible work schedule was a priority for me: both myself and my partner work and I am keen to spend time supporting my family. With DNEG’s Flexible Working Arrangement policy I have been able to manage my work life balance much better since becoming a parent and it has definitely helped reduce my stress levels – which since becoming a parent tend to flare up more often than before!”
DNEG’s Parent and Caregiver Resource Group
The Parent and Caregiver Resource Group is one of many Employee Resource Groups (ERG) at DNEG. It offers a platform for our crew with parental and caregiver responsibilities to meet, discuss, and support one another in building their networks. We asked the group to tell us more about how this works:
“Our Parent and Caregiver Resource Group is there for Montreal employees to share resources, concerns, and advice. It’s a forum where we discuss anything from what to do with kids during school closures when the office is open, recommendations on summer camps, to general support and advice. It simply exists as a resource to parents and caregivers, many of whom live far from their families and other support networks.”