The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is to offer an aid package aimed at helping female PR professionals return to work after maternity leave.
Available from September, the ‘Managing Your Maternity Leave’ package will provide up to 12 months holiday payment for members to provide relief for the industry’s Statutory Maternity Pay.
Additionally, it will come with a year's worth of continuing professional development education credits to keep mothers’ PR capabilities sharp.
Building upon former pledges to combat gender imbalance in the industry, the CIPR's package contains over 10 guides for returning-to-work mothers, a quarterly email kit to update followers and access to a private online community to share advice and tips.
The kit was released as a response to a Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) study called “women begin to fall behind at the age when they are most likely to be starting a family”, which found that professional women over 40 earn over 35 per cent less than their male colleagues.
Ruby McGregor-Smith, CBE, chair of the Women’s Business Council and chief executive of Mitie Group, said: “As a leading employer of women in the UK, we at Mitie understand the importance of attracting and retaining the best talent to ensure the long-term success of our business.
“Supporting women through maternity and their return to work is such a value investment and it’s great that the CIPR and public relations industry is taking an active lead in this area.”
Alastair McCapra, chief executive of the CIPR, said: “This package is a first for a professional body in the UK and a unique offering for the public relations profession.
“We have done our research and listened to our members, delivering a range of solutions which recognises that professional women who decide to start a family require a combination of access to financial support, employment advice, up-to-date industry knowledge and guidance, and access to a peer support network, to successfully navigate the challenges of maternity leave and then return to work confidently.”
According to the CIPR, the maternity package will help the industry on the whole, as women make up two thirds of PR practitioners.