CAHRS Partner Companies Look to Increase Labor-Force Participation

Human Resource Executive's "Forum Tackles Leave Challenges" shares managing leave study from CAHRS partner company the Federal Reserve. According to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, labor-force participation among U.S. men and women ages 25 to 54 has been declining for nearly 20 years. By comparison, Canada has not seen this decline. And, the report says, 75 percent of the difference between the two countries can be explained by the growing gap in the labor-force participation of women.

The reason? For one thing, Canada offers extensive parental leave. The Federal Reserve study estimates that if the U.S. could just reverse the trend in participation of prime-age women to match Canada, it would see 5 million additional prime-age workers join its labor force.

Another CAHRS partner company General Mills followed suit by changing its leave policy to include 18 to 20 weeks of paid maternal leave, 12 weeks of paid parental leave and two weeks of caregiver leave. Jacqueline Williams-Roll, General Mills’ CHRO, says company leadership spent considerable time talking with employees about challenges to work/life balance. “Out of those discussions, we developed a strategy to focus on these moments when employees really need support the most,” she says.

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