Today, Campbell is announcing a new Paid Parental Leave policy and our CEO Denise Morrison sent the following letter to employees this morning.
I want to share my perspective with you on today’s announcement about our new Paid Parental Leave policy and tell you how proud I am of this new benefit, not only as President and CEO of Campbell, but as a businesswoman and a mother.
Our Purpose is Real Food that Matters for Life’s Moments. In the past year or so, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about what “Real Food” means to Campbell – what’s in our food, how it is made and where it is grown. This dialogue has been critical to focusing our business to meet the needs of both current consumers and future generations of consumers.
Today’s paid parental leave announcement exemplifies the “That Matters for Life’s Moments” part of our Purpose and is equally at the core of who we are and what we do. As we strive to build a purpose-driven culture and create a supportive and challenging workplace, we need to look carefully at what matters to our employees. We know that providing for our families is one of the biggest reasons we come to work every day. Our new paid parental leave policy is intended to give parents the freedom and flexibility to experience those moments that occur in the first few months of their child’s life.
The decision to offer paid parental leave resonated with me, personally. As the mother of two daughters, I know how important it is for families to be together with a new baby during those first few months. I remember how challenging it was when I was pregnant and just starting my career journey and I want to make it better for the next generation of parents. At the time, my boss actually told me that if I was not back immediately after the six weeks allowed by my company’s disability policy, that “Bob Smith” (I’ve changed his name to protect him!) would be more than happy to take my seat. Was I ready to be back after six weeks? Absolutely not. But I needed to work to help support my family and I could not afford to be out longer. I vividly remember the challenge to adapt to being a new mom, while at the same time fulfilling the responsibility of the demands of my career. I sincerely believe that our new policy gives Campbell employees the gift of more time to adjust to parenting, particularly those who are starting a new family.
I have to give our Plum Organics team a great deal of credit for their challenger mindset. They pushed our thinking and our action around implementing Paid Parental Leave. As a leading organic baby food company, Plum felt it needed to “walk the talk” and give its employees the chance to enjoy time with their families. As we listened to their rationale and looked across the company, we realized that we had an opportunity to be bold and challenge ourselves to do what we believe is in the best interest of all our U.S.-based Campbell families.
Our new policy provides 10 weeks of fully paid leave to primary caregivers and two weeks of fully-paid leave to non-primary caregivers following the birth or adoption of a child. With the announcement of this new benefit, we are taking a leading position within the U.S. food industry with respect to parental leave, and we will be at least on par with many other global consumer packaged goods companies. Outside the U.S., we will be working with local management teams over the next year to ensure that their practices regarding parental leave place them in a competitive position among food companies in their respective markets. Perhaps even more importantly for us, paid parental leave demonstrates another example of how we have used our Purpose as a filter for our decision making – resulting in a terrific new benefit That Matters for Life’s Moments for our employees.