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Volvo Announces Their New Policy On Parental Leave, But Many People Aren’t Happy With Their Choice Of Illustration
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Volvo Announces Their New Policy On Parental Leave, But Many People Aren’t Happy With Their Choice Of Illustration

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It’s no surprise that the majority of big brands are jumping the bandwagon on progressive and liberal ad campaigns. However, such initiatives often attract a great deal of controversy (for example, two of Gillette’s advertisement campaigns have received huge backlash over their progressive ads – one on body positivity – and the other on toxic masculinity). Now the Swedish multinational manufacturing company, Volvo, has come under the spotlight for featuring two same-sex parents in their most recent ad. The company was introducing its newest paid gender-neutral parental leave policy which was inspired by the Swedish approach to parental leave and chose an illustration of two same-sex parents which stirred up controversy on their Facebook page.

More info: Volvo

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Today, the giant car company, Volvo, has come under fire for featuring two same-sex parents in their ad

Image credits: Volvo cars

The car manufacturing giant has introduced a new policy on paid, gender-neutral parental leave for their employees. This is how Volvo has introduced the idea: “Being the human-centric and progressive company that we are, our EMEA team wondered: Can we extend those benefits to our employees outside Sweden? Turns out we can. To start with, we now introduce a paid, gender-neutral parental leave policy for all our sales company employees in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East & Africa) offering parents a total of six months of leave with 80 percent pay.” The head of Volvo’s HR also added: “The EMEA initiative is one of several activities with the aim to create an inclusive culture and attract and retain a diverse set of people. It improves life-work balance, boosts family time and fits with a progressive, human-centric company like Volvo Cars.”

Most countries in the EMEA region already offer some form of paid parental leave

However, as Volvo explains, there exists a large discrepancy between what is available for mothers and fathers – often to the disadvantage of the latter. The policy is also aiming to boost the labor market and career opportunities for women by “reducing career and pay gaps.”

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It is not the first Volvo initiative on addressing inclusivity

Image credits: Volvo Car UK

Just last year, the car company released an ad called “The new family model.” In the Westfield shopping center in London, Volvo has redesigned the family parking icons to reflect more modern families – including ones of same-sex parents.

However, many people were not happy with Volvo’s choice of illustration

A Volvo representative responded to Michael’s comment saying: “Hi Michael, you are of course entitled to your opinion. However, we must disagree.”

Another user commented that Volvo should feature the same ad on the Volvo Cars United Arab Emirates page. No representative has responded to it yet.

Volvo representatives have also responded to the suggestion, saying: “Hello Konrad. This is part of our people strategy. Being a human-centric company with a culture built on caring about people, this is in line with what we stand for as a company.”

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The comment section turned into quite a discussion

Nonetheless, numerous people were celebrating the initiative as well as Volvo’s choice of illustration

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What do you think? Is it “too much” for you? Is the company just trying to boost their revenue by exploiting progressive and popular ideas? Or are they really as liberal and human-centric as they claim to be?

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Neringa Utaraitė

Neringa Utaraitė

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Neringa is a proud writer at Bored Panda who used to study English and French linguistics. Although she has many different interests, she's particularly drawn to covering stories about pop culture as well as history. While not at the office, this Panda enjoys creepy movies, poetry, photography and learning how to play the piano.

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Neringa Utaraitė

Neringa Utaraitė

Author, Community member

Neringa is a proud writer at Bored Panda who used to study English and French linguistics. Although she has many different interests, she's particularly drawn to covering stories about pop culture as well as history. While not at the office, this Panda enjoys creepy movies, poetry, photography and learning how to play the piano.

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tori_grafft avatar
Tori Grafft
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's more about them just being inclusive and normalizing something that should never have been a stigma, than trying "shove" a social issue down your throat. I bet your grand parents felt the same way when they saw movies/commercials where women had a job outside of the home, or when they showed Black People and White People interacting peacefully like normal human beings.

suzi63 avatar
Suzi Gauthier
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Re the comment below, what about the commercials shoving heterosexual relationships down everyone's throat?

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elizabethlordcary avatar
Elizabeth
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sweden, home of Volvo, is one of the most gender progressive countries in the world. It makes COMPLETE sense that the company would follow suit. I just wonder if some of the people complaining would still be complaining if the ad had featured a female couple instead of male?

costa2706 avatar
Kari Panda
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Even if you disagree with LGBT - this is a case in which the representation of same sex couples is completely justified. Parental leave is something legally available to every parent. Saying you don’t want this picture is like saying you don’t women to be represented in voting commercials because you think women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

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tori_grafft avatar
Tori Grafft
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's more about them just being inclusive and normalizing something that should never have been a stigma, than trying "shove" a social issue down your throat. I bet your grand parents felt the same way when they saw movies/commercials where women had a job outside of the home, or when they showed Black People and White People interacting peacefully like normal human beings.

suzi63 avatar
Suzi Gauthier
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Re the comment below, what about the commercials shoving heterosexual relationships down everyone's throat?

Load More Replies...
elizabethlordcary avatar
Elizabeth
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sweden, home of Volvo, is one of the most gender progressive countries in the world. It makes COMPLETE sense that the company would follow suit. I just wonder if some of the people complaining would still be complaining if the ad had featured a female couple instead of male?

costa2706 avatar
Kari Panda
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Even if you disagree with LGBT - this is a case in which the representation of same sex couples is completely justified. Parental leave is something legally available to every parent. Saying you don’t want this picture is like saying you don’t women to be represented in voting commercials because you think women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Load More Comments
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