Champion For Change Matt Prichard on Shifting Parental Policies

Our Champion for Change, Matt Prichard, Executive Chairman at Partners KPMG New Zealand, gets candid in kōrero with Stuff about taking ‘manternity’ leave — talking to the importance of organisations creating robust, equitable parental policies for all.

Matt shares how this transition, “without being at all prepared for it” brought about feelings “enormous anxiety and guilt about not being at home looking after my kids,” when returning from nine months of full time parental leave to care for his fifth child in 2016.

I had no idea until my own ‘manternity’ experience what it was really like to go from the intense experience of caring physically and emotionally for a baby to re-entering the workplace and trying to pick up where I’d left off as if nothing had happened,” Matt shares. “and it was surprisingly rubbish inside my own organisation” despite being involved in trying to improve gender diversity at work and thinking he was pretty aware.

KPMG was looking into changing its parental leave policy last year, amongst a backdrop where only a couple out of 30 large corporates had these policies. KPMG now offers 18 weeks leave at full salary for either primary or secondary caregivers.

We’re proud to see our Champions share the stories and experiences that can lead to both inspiration and change. Read Matt’s full interview and recount of his experiences, along with insights from Diversity Works on how companies are gaining better understandings for gender-neutral leave policies here.