Family matters: Addressing the equality balance

Global, August 14, 2015

Aegon’s efforts to embrace equality among its workforce are paying off. More than 52% of our global workforce is female and 32% of our senior management. But is there room for improvement?

Women at work

"Despite the growing need for equal conditions and opportunities for men and women, we cannot ignore that differences still exist. And we need to be aware of it," said Monica Martinez, Internal Consulting HR manager at Mongeral Aegon, our joint venture in Brazil.

Female employees at Aegon around the world


Taking time out to start a family is one of the main challenges facing women in the workplace, so last year Aegon started to measure the number of parents who returned to work after their maternity leave, and how many then remained with the company a year later.

Measuring performance

After having a baby only 40% of employees returned directly to work, however the good news is that, of those returning, 73% were still with Aegon a year later.

"As an employer we have an important role to play in ensuring that our employees feel supported both before, during and after the pregnancy," says Anke van de Graaf, from Aegon's Global HR department. "At Aegon's head office and Aegon in the Netherlands, for example, we offer flexible working hours, and where possible the option to work from home."

73% of employees returning from maternity leave are still with Aegon a year later


On the other side of the world, for the last three years, Mongeral Aegon has been trialing a program to support employees and their spouses during pregnancy.

Run in partnership with healthcare company Qualicorp, pregnant employees are given the option to be regularly contacted by a nurse to track their weight, monitor the baby's growth, provide useful tips, answer any questions and provide general reassurance through what can be a stressful period.

Help for men as well as women

"There's a lot of talk about equal rights for women, and rightly so, but men also need attention during this period," explained Monica, "Men with pregnant wives are also faced with questions or expectations about becoming a father and understanding what's happening with their pregnant spouse."

Once the baby is born, the new parents receive a baby kit and a pension plan for the child, with a contribution from Mongeral Aegon.

This additional care provided by Mongeral Aegon reassures employees during quite an uncertain period, and ensures that employees and their families feel supported.

Written by: Aegon