Athena SWAN in IHW

IHW maternity and paternity buddy scheme

Our buddy scheme is currently being reconfigured and will become the responsibility of IHW's maternity and paternity champion (soon to be appointed). We will update this page once arrangements are finalised. In the meantime, existing buddies Jana Anderson (resesarch and teaching) and Linsey Ip (professional services) are happy to be contacted. 

Photo of baby and parent holding hands with purple background

What is the buddy scheme for?

The aim of this scheme is to provide an opportunity for staff within IHW who are:

  1. soon to go on to maternity/paternity/adoption/shared parental leave
  2. are on maternity/paternity/adoption/shared parental leave leave, or
  3. have returned to work within the last year and would welcome sharing their experience of parenthood or the adoption process

to benefit from the experiences of volunteer members of university staff, who are parents themselves ("the buddy"), and who can be a source of support and guidance for those who are about to, or have recently become, parents.

Although the term "maternity/paternity buddy" is used, the buddy scheme is also available to those on adoption leave, or shared parental leave. The buddy scheme puts procedures in place to ensure members of staff are aware of it, and routes to access it.

What is the role of the mat/pat buddy champion?

In essence the scheme will provide informal information, support and advice on matters relating to maternity/paternity/adoption and shared parental leave and the subsequent return to work, and sign-post staff to appropriate sources of information. For instance availablity of childcare vouchers, nursery provision and experiences of flexible working are likely to be important discussion points, and employees will be signposted to contact HR specifically for detailed information applicable to their own circumstances, particularly around the relevant leave procedures and entitlements.

Using the buddy scheme would be an opportunity to benefit from first-hand experience of others who have been through the process themselves.

While the buddy scheme is primarily a mechanism for exchanging information and sharing experiences, in some cases the buddy scheme will result in less formal supportive relationships between the buddy and the employee.