By Michael Michelson Sep 30, 2015

At KKR, we recognize that our most important assets are the people who walk through our doors every day. In order to attract, hire and retain a diverse workforce, we have augmented our efforts over the last year, specifically through the implementation of an Inclusion and Diversity Council (IDC).

An inclusive work environment supports innovation and diverse thinking, which we believe makes us more competitive and better investors – while offering employees a more interesting and dynamic place to work. We want to encourage those with different perspectives and backgrounds to work here.

One of the first outputs of the IDC was a series of initiatives designed to support our hard-working parents. These recently announced policy changes include:

  • Increasing paid leave for primary caregivers to 16 weeks from 12 weeks.
  • Increasing paid leave for non-primary caregivers to 10 days from five.
  • Implementing a Childcare Travel Program where primary caregivers will be allowed to bring their baby and childcare providers on essential business travel at the firm’s expense for the first year.
  • Starting a “pilot” transition program to help new parents return to work after leave.

These policies made headlines around the world, but it’s not about the news. People should not have to choose between being good parents and succeeding at work. Getting this right is a critical part of how we intend to be more inclusive and continue to meet the needs of our current and future employees.

This is a step forward, but we are not stopping there. KKR is proud to be a founding member of The Working Parent Support Coalition, a group of corporations committed to putting in place policies to support working parents that will improve health, development and economic outcomes. The group, which includes Danone, Barclays, Ernst & Young and Nestlé, is the first of its kind and was developed in consultation with The Clinton Global Initiative. Yesterday, as part of this group, we announced our public commitment to improve lactation support and resources for new mothers. And, as part of this CGI commitment, we recognize that families come in many forms and KKR will soon support employees who are pursuing adoption via a new global adoption reimbursement policy.

I’m proud to be part of a firm that truly values employees and is supporting working parents with thoughtful changes to our policies. These are critical issues that can create barriers to healthy, happy families. We hope that these changes will have a significant and positive impact on our employees, their families, and the firm overall. Stay tuned for more updates on our inclusion and diversity efforts as well as those from The Working Parent Support Coalition.

-- Mike Michelson, on behalf of the Inclusion and Diversity Council