Coca-Cola releases new gender-neutral paid parental leave benefits

The soft drink giant just announced an enhanced paid parental leave policy for its more than 40,000 U.S. employees. According to a company statement:

“The policy, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, offers six weeks of paid leave to all new parents at the company, including moms and dads, and adoptive and foster parents. These benefits supplement the six to eight weeks of paid leave Coke currently provides to birth mothers through short-term disability.”

The benefit was designed to be gender-neutral to “encourage both moms and dads to play an active role in their family lives,” says Ceree Eberly, Coca-Cola Company’s chief people officer.

An internal cohort of young employees called Coca-Cola Millennial Voices is behind the change. The company’s global workforce of nearly 130,000 is expected to be more than half millennial by 2020.