NBAS: The Norwegian Contribution to Gender Equality in Singapore and Beyond
In support of SwedCham Singapore’s #DoubleUp initiative, the Norwegian Business Association in Singapore (NBAS) recently share some inspiring Norwegian examples of going beyond gender equality. Because just like Swedish retailer IKEA, which launched the SwedCham initiative, some Norwegian companies have for years had paid paternity leave in their company policies.
Officially launched earlier this month, the #DoubleUp initiative aims to facilitate gender equality and encourage more inclusive corporate cultures. In practice, he challenges Singapore companies to double their paid paternity leave from two to four weeks. Inspired by IKEA, which has offered four weeks of benefits since 2017, nine Swedish companies have now followed suit. Companies, including H&M and AstraZeneca, will increase their paid paternity leave from January.
NBAS shares the following Norwegian examples of gender equality in Singapore and beyond:
Equinor – 16 weeks regardless of gender
Norwegian energy company Equinor has more than 21,000 employees in more than 30 countries. Since January 2019, the company has offered a global policy of paid parental leave of 16 weeks to all employees of Equinor and its subsidiaries. This policy applies to any parent working for Equinor, regardless of gender. This policy complements or exceeds local laws, to guarantee a minimum level of services.
DNB – 20 weeks paternity leave in Asia
DNB is Norway’s largest bank, with regional headquarters in Singapore. For all employees in Asia including Singapore, Shanghai and Mumbai, they offer 20 weeks of paid paternity leave. These benefits cannot be transferred to the mother. Like Equinor, the policy intends to guarantee a minimum level of paternity leave, in addition to local laws.
“For DNB, it is important to give all of our employees around the world the same opportunities that we have in Norway. We are also finding that it gives us a competitive advantage in recruiting talent and retraining valuable bank employees, ”says Jan Fredrik Skjeltorp, Asia Manager at DNB.
“We thank SwedCham for their great #DoubleUp initiative and encourage other multinational companies to follow suit! There is strength in unity – and together we can work to make an impact on gender norms in Scandinavia, Singapore and beyond, ”says NBAS.