Sharing the parenting load is more important than you think

    Wonder woman, Evelyn Ng, an AMA/GC Comptroller, APAC Tax Operations Vice President, and Equality and Inclusion Leader for P&G Philippines, poses happily with her husband Gerry Ng and their four beautiful daughters.

    Procter & Gamble (P&G) Philippines recently launched “Share The Care,” an industry-leading paid parental leave program.  It gives all P&G parents, regardless of gender and civil status, a minimum standard of eight weeks fully paid parental leave so they can care for and bond with biological or adopted children new to their family.  This game-changing policy provides fathers with paid leave well beyond the 7 days provided by law and recognizes even adoptive parents.  Birthing moms continue to receive 105 days of maternity leave to allow for recovery. This provides equal opportunities for all employees and removes biases that hinder progress such as outdated stereotypes that women should be the sole caregiver in the household.

    Below, three P&G employees share their experiences and thoughts about this new program and how critical it is for parents to share the load of parenting and childcare:

    Proud dad Vince Murga, Sales Director for P&G’s Omni-Retail Channel gets to bond with his newborn daughter, Charlie, as P&G’s Share The Care program allows him 8 weeks of paternity leave.

    “I had only been a dad for a few months but I already think it’s one of the best jobs in the world! From changing diapers, exposing her to the morning sun, skin-to-skin time, or as simple as helping my baby daughter burp, there is hardly a dull moment,” Vince Murga shares. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Billie, for three years and they welcomed their first daughter, Charlie, earlier this year.

    Murga has been with the company for eight years, where he is currently a sales director for the Omni-Retail Channel. He has been recognized for his achievements across modern trade, distributor operations, and trade marketing assignments. Now, he embarks on his new role and adventure of fatherhood.

    He credits P&G’s Share The Care policy for enabling him to enjoy the full experience of fatherhood beyond the usual seven-day paternity leave of the country. He says, “I think it’s about time for fathers to be given the opportunity to share the load at home and be present for their families, challenging times or not. Luckily, P&G believes in that, too. This program gives us more time to experiment and adjust to a new family routine without having to worry about work first.”

    As a strong believer in work-life integration, Murga is confident that his new life role as a father will also make him a better leader at work.

    “Fatherhood is an added inspiration to work harder and get to the next level because I want the best for my daughter. There are also a lot of insights from fatherhood that I can take to my work when it comes to managing people, as well as making sure I get several things done efficiently,” he reveals.

    The new father shares, “I’m most excited to be present for all the newborn milestones my daughter and I will be experiencing every day.”

    A father shares how he balances a busy work life with a growing family

    Woo Joon Kim, his wife Kristine Dianne, and son Min Joon

    Like Murga, Woo Joong Kim (“Wooj”) is a dad who is constantly finding the right balance between work and family.

    At home, he is the father of a two-year-old son named Min Joon and is expecting a second baby this June with his wife Kristine Dianne. At work, he has spent the last 11.5 years performing multiple roles in human resources, and he is now charged with the safety and development of P&G’s manufacturing organization as the P&G Cabuyao Plant HR Director.

    “I always ask myself, am I spending too much time at work and should I spend more time with my family? Or am I not doing enough work and should I catch-up on work at home?” Wooj shares.

    This was especially true during the pandemic when he was leading the Plant crisis management team. He had to perform his family responsibilities while ensuring that the company continues to operate and that the employees were safe.  Wooj recalls the situation almost one year ago.  It was initially challenging since he was working from home but was not able to spend time with his family with the pandemic turn of events.

    For Wooj, he has learned it is important to establish “hardpoints,” or non-negotiables at work so one can share the load at home. Prior to the pandemic, one way he would dedicate high-quality time was traveling with his family through extended leaves. Now that many are working from home, this now means deliberately blocking off time in the morning and evening so he has quality time to taking care of his toddler.

    He also has “peaks and valleys,” where he adjusts his calendar to offset busy workdays with days that give more time for his family. According to Wooj, having hardpoints and peaks and valleys “enable me to continue to deliver on important priorities at work and at the same time, I don’t feel guilty since I know that I will recover my personal time on other days.”

    With his wife set to give birth later this year, he says, “My wife and I are happy that with the eight-week paternity leave P&G provides through the Share The Care program, I will be around longer to focus on helping her with the challenges of postpartum recovery, newborn care, and looking after the household. It is not really a responsibility of one person, but it is a responsibility that both parents should take on. I am proud to work for a company that understands and respects that.”

    Evelyn Chua-Ng is breaking records. As the Vice President of P&G Asia Pacific Tax Operations and P&G Asia, Middle East, Africa Comptroller, she is the highest-ranking Filipino woman in P&G Philippines and P&G Finance. She is also a wonder woman at home: she is raising four girls with her husband, Gary Ng.

    Chua-Ng is also the Equality and Inclusion leader of P&G Philippines, so she is excited about the potential of P&G’s #ShareTheCare policy.

    She says, “This will be life-changing for fathers, mothers, and powerfully so, for their children. Mothers will be less stressed as they can share the load with their spouses. Fathers will be more emotionally and physically bonded to their children. Our children will grow up seeing both fathers and mothers sharing the load of parental care.”

    Chua-Ng also believes in implementing policies that support equality, diversity, and inclusion because of the positive impact it brings to a company’s people and business.  Chua-Ng advocates bringing these values to life beyond policies to daily experiences, such as when she voiced the need for top-notch, well-appointed nursing room facilities even before it was mandated by law so that mothers can continue their breastfeeding journey even when they return to work.

    Share The Care is just one of P&G’s most recent milestones in championing equality and inclusion in its policies.  Over the years, P&G’s benefits programs have evolved to meet the unique needs of a diverse range of employees across various life stages.

    “Many companies have seen that integrating diversity, equality, and inclusion into culture and operations drives stronger employee engagement and better business results. Inclusion allows our employees to bring the best versions of themselves to work, allowing them to be fully productive and feel valued,” Chua-Ng shares.

    She adds that she hopes other businesses can follow suit. According to her, “my dream is for more Filipino companies to transform and embrace diversity, equality, and inclusion as a business and cultural strategy. And that when my daughters are at the point when they will decide their career paths, that they can chase their dreams without any restrictions or limitations imposed on them because they are women.”