Happy mom, dad and child in Argentina

Roche Argentina helps colleagues with newborns and young children to get back to work with ease.

Almost half the employees of Roche Argentina are women. More than ten percent have had children since joining Roche. The affiliate decided that it needed to take up several simple yet effective steps to ensure it retained these talented women. It also wanted to make sure that they felt confident about starting families and not worrying about what to do with their infants once they decided to get back to work.

So from breastfeeding rooms to a phased return to work and from extended paternity leave to nursery and child care services, Roche Argentina has laid out a comprehensive program for those becoming parents soon, or those that have already welcomed an additional member to the family.

“In order to ensure that maternity is not an obstacle hindering growth within the com­pany, Roche Argentina has worked over on a series of steps over the years. We have made provisions for the new mothers so they do not have to worry about missing out on important aspects of bringing up their child while at work. We have also begun to offer different options for our women colleagues to come back to work gradually, if they so desired, after childbirth,” says Damian Chernavsky, Human Resources Director of Roche Argentina.

“The people who are a part of this company do not only come here to work, they love what they do and seek new ways of doing things and going the extra mile. We therefore decided to enhance not just professional, but also personal and family development, and to make them feel that Roche is their place,” he adds.

Family and career

“I have two children aged five and one. Following the birth of my second child, I now have the opportunity to opt for working a few hours less per day, but return to my job. I, therefore, have the chance to develop myself professionally, but also to be with my baby when he needs me,” explains Jessica Claros, Head of Public Relations and NGOs, who benefited from these policies.

In addition, Roche Argentina has extended paternity leave offered to new fathers. They are now entitled to additional days to stay with the newborn. The affiliate also makes available educational literature for future mothers. This includes books prepared in collaboration with obstetricians, nutritionists and psychologists. Also included in the services for new mothers are yoga classes, massage sessions and consultations on nutrition and healthy nutrition.

“We organize personalized talks and consultations on motherhood and good parenting and also offer nursery and child care services for children up to five years,” elucidates Damian, “and set up winter and holiday camps for children between five and 12. The costs are all borne by the company.”

Loving the special touches

“Having a designated room at the workplace enables us to go back to our tasks without having to abandon breastfeeding. It can be done in a private, quiet and comfortable setting during the work day. In my case, thanks to the possibility of a phased return to work and the use of the breastfeeding room, I was able to come back to work without ceasing to share in my baby’s growth,” says Anna Laura Pinto, Process and Clinical Trials Training Manager.

Her colleague Victoria Zolezzi, who is Compliance and Legal Affairs Manager tells myRoche why being a mother need not be an impediment to a woman’s personal growth. “I have two daughters aged four and two. In 2011, when I was expecting my second daughter I was offered the position of Head of the Legal department in Roche Argentina,” Victoria recounts. “Being a woman and a mother has at no time been a hindrance to professional growth. I have had the possibility to perform all my professional duties and of taking on new challenges without having to be absent from important moments in the life of my daughters.”

Tags: Sustainability, Patients, Culture