Jaguar Land Rover’s diversity strategy ensures 100% of women workers return from maternity leave

Car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover claims it has a 100% retention rate among women returning from maternity leave because of its generous benefits package.

The company gives its female employees 52 weeks’ maternity leave on full pay.

Maria Antoniou, director of HR, told delegates: “This is an expensive policy, but it is worth it when you consider that it can cost up to £50,000 to hire in someone new at senior level. This policy has given us a good track record in retention.”

Enhanced maternity benefits are just one element of the company’s five-year diversity and inclusion strategy, which was introduced in 2002 in a bid to combat Jaguar Land Rover’s “male, pale and stale” employer brand, and to “access untapped reserves of talent and improve operational efficiency”, according to Antoniou.

A key element of the company’s strategy was the introduction of diversity councils in each line function. This ensured that diversity was pushed through the business by line managers, and that it was not seen as just an HR issue.

“Diversity schemes are not just a ‘nice to have’ they’re not about being politically correct or doing good,” Antoniou said. “It’s important to bring a diversity policy to life and for employees to espouse its values. We have found that if you embrace diversity and embed it in your organisation, you’ll be more profitable as a business.”

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