Roche understands that when an employee has children, the ability to balance work responsibilities with family needs is a top concern.

Especially for women, who make up nearly half of the total employees at Roche, the ability to remain in the workforce and progress in their chosen career paths is often dependent on the support of their employers during pregnancy and throughout their child-rearing years. That’s why Roche is committed to providing the benefits that both women and men need to raise their families and do their best at work simultaneously.

At Roche, pregnancy doesn't impede career growth

The image shows Kristen Pressner
Kristen Pressner received a signification promotion after return from maternity leave

Kristen Pressner is Head of Human Resources in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America for Diagnostics and Diabetes Care. Currently based in Rotkreuz, she moved to Basel in 2007 with her husband and four young children. Her youngest child was born while she worked for Roche in Indianapolis, US. “The biggest support I got from Roche was that my leadership never assumed that because I was pregnant, I wasn't serious about my career anymore,” she says. “It was always assumed I'd return from maternity leave with the same vigour and ambition as before I left.” Roche’s faith in Kristen was reinforced when she “received a significant promotion within months of returning” from her maternity leave.

Jessica Claros, who works as Public Relations Manager at Roche Argentina, also found that pregnancy and motherhood did not impede her career growth at Roche: she received a promotion when she was three months pregnant with her second child! “This means a lot, since it shows how Roche supports us in two very important aspects of our lives: family and professional growth,” she says. “I never felt that I had to choose between my family and Roche.”

The image shows Jessica Claros with her two little kids
Jessica Claros got promoted during her pregnancy

While of course supporting women and families is the right thing to do, Roche’s motives are not purely altruistic: the best way to retain talent and maintain business growth is to support employees in raising their families while also contributing their best work to the company. As Kristen says, “Roche values all the aspects I bring to my role: HR professional, but also woman, mother, etc.” Adds Jessica, “This flexibility and the confidence Roche has had in me has made me more productive at work, and has meant that I work with much more joy and enthusiasm.”

A family-friendly environment

Support for parents in the workplace does not end at maternity leave, and is not limited only to women. Many Roche affiliates offer paid leave to the partners and spouses of new mothers. The transition back to work for women is eased by benefits such as dedicated maternity rooms, which offer nursing mothers a private, comfortable place to breastfeed or pump during the workday. Jessica offers her own experience in Argentina as an example: “Roche offered various benefits ranging from the possibility of a gradual return to work, with flexible hours, to nursery and day care facilities for children up to the age of 5. Added to this we have a summer camp program for children up to 12 years of age.” She also points out that Roche offers special events that include the whole family, such as an annual children’s visiting day, and a family New Year’s party.

I am very serious about my role as a mother, and I am also very serious about my role in delivering now what patients need next. An exciting and meaningful career is not only important to me, it's important modelling for my children. Both my daughters AND my sons.
Kristen Pressner

All of these benefits contribute to the honour bestowed upon Roche by Working Mother magazine, when the company was chosen as one of the “Working Mother 100 Best Companies” in 2014. The magazine includes Roche Indianapolis’s extended maternity leave, generous leave for partners and adoptive parents, unlimited sick days, and flexible scheduling options as reasons why Roche is a great employer for parents. Roche is dedicated to maintaining this reputation as a family-friendly employer, and to continuing to support talented employees in caring for their families while progressing in their careers.

Tags: People, Sustainability