Town & Country

town countryARE FLYING NANNIES AN ANSWER TO WALL STREET WORKPLACE WOES?
by  Sam Dangremond  / August 25, 2015

Private equity firm KKR & Co. is the latest employer to offer a perk aimed at improving office culture for new parents.

It may be hard to find good help these days, but keeping them is just as difficult.

In an effort to retain top talent, private equity firm KKR & Co. is offering its employees a travel perk: Between the time that a new parent returns to work from maternity/paternity leave and his or her child’s first birthday, the firm will cover travel expenses so that the employee can bring the child and a caretaker along on business trips, according to Bloomberg.

The move echoes similar recent ones at tech companies: Apple and Facebook will pay employees up to $20,000 to help them compensate sperm donors or freeze their eggs, IBM is helping workers ship their breast milk home, and Netflix is up to a full year of paid time off in employees’ first year as new parents.

For KKR, the new policy seems to an attempt to attract women to an industry whose upper echelons have long been dominated by men.

At the 10 top private equity firms, women account for 10.9 percent of senior managers, a Bloomberg study conducted in April found. That’s up from 8.1 percent in 2012.

But the move isn’t enough, says one New York Times op-ed writer.

“This new raft of ‘perks’ shows how trapped we still are in a work culture that prizes total availability at the office at all times and how blind we are to the impact that norms at work have on roles at home,” Anne Weisberg, a senior vice president at the Families and Work Institutewrites in a post published yesterday. “Change to both will come only when we acknowledge the deep connection between the two spheres.​”

 

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