Prioritizing family and wellbeing through our new parental leave policy

Duration:4 mins

Tags: Culture

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Prioritizing family and wellbeing through our new parental leave policy

At Owkin, we recently relaunched our parental policy to ensure that all of our Owkinautes across the world have the opportunity to prioritize time with their family. Our Chief People Officer, Mariabrisa Olivares, shares why this is important and at the core of what we value at Owkin.

I remember my first interview with Thomas very clearly. Among the many things that stuck out to me about why taking a leap of faith and moving to biotech would be amazing, 2 things, in particular, stayed with me through the interview process. 

Firstly, family was clearly everything for both our co-founders. Work from home restrictions means family and work life now blend together and for some, it remains hard to find the right balance. Not for Thomas! His family was an active part of the interview process as he took the time to introduce me to them and equally took the time to ask me about my family. After seven months now with the company, I have seen consistent cases of leading by example as it pertains to prioritizing time with family from both of our co-founders and leaders. As a mom of two kids myself, this provides me with a great sense of safety knowing that I will be supported and encouraged at work to prioritize my family well being. 

I believe that care should be at the core of what we value at Owkin.


Thomas Clozel, MD – Co-Founder & CEO of Owkin

Secondly, during our interviews, we talked a lot about the importance of care being at the center of everything we do. It is intrinsically linked to Owkin mission to discover and develop better treatments for unmet medical needs. It is easy to see where this value comes from with Thomas being an oncologist and bringing all of his passion for treating patients into our company culture and mission. It was also one of my key motivators for joining Owkin. I wanted to be part of something bigger. I wanted to contribute to a company whose main output was to improve on a mission that was dear to me – the fight against cancer. 

Inspired by these two things last week we launched our improved parental policy that ensures global consistency across all of our offices in the US, UK, France, Germany and Switzerland. We are setting the minimum leave for primary carers at 16 weeks and eight weeks for secondary carers. Our policy is set around caregiver status, regardless of gender and is designed to take into account all family structures. This is the first and most important step for our growing company. We realize that the ability to care for one’s family drives overall wellbeing and enables our Owkinautes to bring their best selves to work. 

When being at the head of a purpose-driven business the great opportunity ahead of us is how to build a company that is true to our core values every day. We are excited to continue working with our team to ensure that care is at the forefront of everything we do.

As Owkin continues to grow, we are currently recruiting a number of exciting positions in a range of teams, from marketing to data science to corporate development and more. We would love to hear from anyone who wants to help us to achieve our mission to use AI to discover and develop better treatments for patients. Along the way, you can be sure of our full support in ensuring that family life and care remain top priorities.