Swedish tech company Ascentic pioneering equal parental leave in Sri Lanka

Understanding theimportance of fathers playing a key role in the family after a newborn or newly adopted child, software development company Ascentic with offices in Sweden recently made history in Sri Lanka’s corporate sector by introducing a four-month paternity leave to its employees.

This is a landmark milestone in the company’s efforts in embracing a culture of gender-neutrality, equity and inclusivity.

Currently, there are provisions for paternity leave in the law for the private sector. Breaking away from conventional practices, Ascentic realized the numerous benefits that paternity leave for new fathers bring about, and the need to normalize paternity leave in Sri Lanka as many fear the risk of career setbacks due to poor family-friendly policies.

Paternity leave sets the foundation for a more equal family responsibilityand helps the other partner in providing emotional support and being present during early days of baby care which is challenging both mentally and physically. According to a McKinsey survey last year, 90pct of the men interviewed said that paternity leave improved their relationship with their partner, resulting in a greater relationship stability.

The study also found that father’s increased involvement in baby care can help mitigate maternal postpartum-depression outcomes, and a renewed sense of priorities which can increase satisfaction in their work.

Many fathers generally express dissatisfaction of not having adequate amount of time to spend with their children, and this could help change that. This also significantly contributes to working mothers by being at home and helping her to return to the workforce earlier.

Ascentic Founder and CEO Anna Kalm said “We take great pride in being the first company in the country’s private sector and in the IT industry to introduce fully-paid paternity leaveof four months both for mothers and fathers or partners. Times are changing with the millennial and gen Z workforce and the pandemic too is taking a huge toll especially among working parents. This enables the working fathers of Ascentic to be there at life’s most special moments and building that bond that will shape family dynamics in future.”

Anna along with co-founder PatrikAlm believes in embracing a culture that provides a healthy work-life balance for both partners. Ascentic is truly Sri Lankan in all its workplace aspects with values going back to the founders’ country of origin, Sweden, a country that has the most generous parental leave policies with parental allowance paid by the state.

This year, Ascentic was ranked among Best Workplaces in Asia under the Small and Medium Category List, Best Workplaces in Sri Lanka, 10 Best Small and Medium IT/ITES Workplaces, and 15 Best Workplaces in Sri Lanka for Millennials, by Great Place to Work Sri Lanka. With over 90 employees and active team expansions in progress, Ascentic is going beyond just looking at exponential growth to redefining its people-oriented workplace culture. For more information, please visit www.ascentic.lk.

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