After attending the incredible Tenfold event at UTS on Social Impact and the role of business last week, I left feeling inspired about the future we can co-create. The dialogue highlighted the knowledge that nonprofits and charities like Pink Elephants can bring to the forefront to create real systemic change that creates a better future for all. The call out about it no longer being ok for CSR to be a piece of work on a Friday afternoon when all of the ‘business work’ is complete is exactly what needs to be discussed right now. Organisations need to find ways to embed ESG goals into their DNA, Values, Systems & Processes, KPI’s etc.
Nicky Sparshott, CEO of Unilever referred to the sweetspot of the intersection of both strategy and ESG woven into KPI’s, by asking the questions ‘Is it good for business?’ ‘Is it good for society?’
With consultation with nonprofits leading the change in certain areas we can make change happen faster. I want to bring one tangible example of this to life through our Leave for Loss campaign at Pink Elephants. We have been supporting women and their partners through pregnancy loss for 5 years and our Leave for Loss campaign has been an integral part of our advocacy work for the last 3 years. Tackling pregnancy loss, one of the last women’s health taboos, is a complex societal issue that requires many people to address together. Workplaces can make a real impact and change fairly easily in this space by providing bereavement/compassionate leave for your people who suffer a pregnancy loss prior to 20 weeks.
“Do you have a clear policy provision in place for the 1 in 3 of your people who will experience a pregnancy loss?”
Currently there is no provision in the Fair Work Act that provides bereavement leave for a woman or her partner after they have experienced the death of their baby to miscarriage. 1 in 3 women in Australia will experience this - It is the most common mental health event most likely to impact a woman in her lifetime. Recent studies have highlighted the links to poor mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress if a woman and her partner are left unsupported.
Despite this, miscarriage and early pregnancy loss is still very much taboo and disenfranchised grief, meaning that we very rarely validate the experience as warranting true bereavement. We minimise the experience with comments such as ‘at least it happened early’ or worse we don’t tackle it at all and the silence further isolates the bereaved parents. By providing bereavement leave in your workplace for pregnancy loss you are providing validation that their baby existed and that their grief is real and valid. You can go further by providing support to them via our workplace program - find out what organisations such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia and PWC are providing here.
From a broader perspective early adopters of this bereavement leave policy change such as PWC, Minter Ellison and ZIP also add their voice to our legislative campaign where we are lobbying for an amendment to the Fair Work Act of Australia to include miscarriage under the compassionate leave act. Which brings us right back to John Lydon’s point about how businesses and nonprofits can come together to tackle big societal issues and drive systemic change. A future we can co-create and all be proud of, a future inclusive of the needs of all.
Thank you to Tenfold Australia for making this important dialogue happen and bringing nonprofit leaders together with business leaders in your community, where we all can contribute meaningfully.
If anyone would like to learn more about how we at Pink Elephants work collaboratively with workplaces feel free to email me at email@example.com
At Pink Elephants we value outcomes as well as outputs, we can share with you the very real impact our programs have as well as the numbers. We pride ourselves on seeking first to understand we have a robust evidence base on the need for our support and advocacy work. We are happy to work with workplaces to provide our knowledge and expertise on a problem that impacts ⅓ of your workplace and the Australian community.