With only a few days to Father’s Day, the announcement of 26 weeks paternity leave from Zomato could not have been made at a more appropriate time. One of the biggest food search and delivery services in India, Zomato is making huge strides in terms of gender equality in the workplace with this decision. While the concept of maternity leave or pregnancy leave has become fairly common, this is still uncharted territory in the country.
The company’s founder Deepinder Goyal stated,
There won’t be even an iota of difference in parental leave policy for men and women at Zomato going forward.
Expanding on the policy, along with the 26 weeks leave for new fathers, an endowment of Rs 69,000 ($1000) will also be provided to the new parents working for them. The definition of a new parent is also flexible and inclusive, with non-birthing parents also being counted. The policy is in immediate effect in all the countries that Zomato is present in. Not only that, but it will also apply to all those on their roll who became new parents in the last 6 months.
While some of the international companies like Ikea, Microsoft, Facebook and others have made similar decisions in the past, this the first time a business based in India has taken such a progressive stance. This is a move that is aimed towards a more gender-equal leadership in the company, and perhaps towards inspiring a similar change in other firms as well. In an interview, Goyal said, “I believe young parents should be able to make a choice of how to care for their children. And that a myopic view of primary caregiving not only alienates half of our workforce but also creates circumstances that lead to fewer female leaders within organisations, the community and the nation.”
Currently 5000 employees strong, Zomato is internationally providing this paternity leave without reference to any country-specific policies regarding this. The lack of diversity in the many levels of organisational structures is influenced by the parenting choices made by families and individuals working there. Kudos to Zomato for empowering their employees to be able to make changes in these choices.