IBM leads on family support (contd)

April 20, 2004

Other workplace initiatives include:Men at Work
A two-day program for male staff, this Federal Government initiative was
developed by a Macquarie University academic. The program seeks to educate
men on how to achieve work/life balance, look after their health and to
participate more fully in their family life.Parenting rooms
Use by nursing mothers after they return from maternity leave.

Parental leave seminars
Designed for those taking parental leave or returning from leave. Issues
include career planning and identifying ways the workplace can support the
returning parent.

Ms Spencer says IBM’s policies have resulted in a high proportion of its
female staff returning to work after maternity leave.

The company also runs other diversity programs to The company has a
diversity council to help devise its ongoing diversity strategy.

“We think this is very important to have policies that accommodate the needs
of different staff members. You cannot talk about diversity if you are only
talking about one group of people such as mothers,” says Ms Spencer.

“Women at work need support but our population is men and women and parents
are men and women.”

Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. Go to for more career related articles. Send job hunting and workplace questions to

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