Angus Coghlan has two job titles: Senior General Procurement Manager and dad, now times two. He recently returned to Lenovo after seven weeks of paid paternity leave after his wife gave birth to their second child. In the U.S., Lenovo offers up to 28 weeks of paid maternity leave to moms and two months for fathers to give families time to connect and transition back to the workplace.
Named one of Working Mother Magazine’s 100 Best Companies in 2017 and 2018, Working Mother is now recognizing Lenovo as one of 35 companies to earn its first Best Companies for Dads list based on data collected from the 2018 Working Mother 100 Best Companies application on paternity leave policies, family leave, employee resource groups that support men, family-friendly benefits, transition programs, and more.
Here’s more from Angus about how Lenovo’s benefits and culture supported his growing family:
Q. Introduce us to what you do at Lenovo.
At Lenovo, I manage the operations and programs team globally for General Procurement. It’s an extremely exciting and rewarding position as I manage a great group of people located in Morrisville, Shenzhen and Beijing who are highly motivated. Our job is to improve the processes and tools which assist the business to make purchases of indirect products and services while also increasing reporting visibility. Our team also manages Lenovo’s supplier diversity program which focuses on increasing opportunities for minority groups to work with Lenovo across both direct and indirect procurement.
Q. Having seven weeks of paid paternity leave is still a bit of a novel concept in the U.S. — tell us how Lenovo’s benefit helped you and your family.
My daughter Elyse arrived six weeks early, and so we had nothing prepared. Working at Lenovo I was fortunate to have a great manager, team members, and colleagues that all encouraged me to take time to support my family and this is something I found hard at first but will always be grateful for.
Elyse is our second child and our son Oliver was born in Australia prior to working at Lenovo. When Oliver was born I remember having just two days off and the difference for my family has been significant. Globally I think people tend not to discuss the huge challenges a new baby brings to a family and having this time allowed us to get past the initial sleep deprivation, set up a routine and importantly bond as a new family. During my eight weeks leave my wife and I commented on a daily basis about the difference this made, and now that I have returned to work I think the benefits are still ongoing.
Q. Talk about coming back to work – how did the transition go?
This was something I had been concerned about initially but the transition back was good. My team did a great job while I was away and I think that it also allowed them certain opportunities they otherwise may not have had. My manager remained highly supportive throughout my leave and we aligned frequently while I was away so that on my return there were no big surprises and the transition ran smoothly.
Q. How has life changed with your new addition, and how do you like being a working dad/advice for others?
Despite being our second child, its still fairly tricky with an example being this week where my wife Christina is working in Chicago returning late Friday. Despite having every meal pre-cooked, baby clothes prepared and relatives on speed dial I know that by Wednesday evening calls with colleagues in Beijing will be interrupted, I will be severely sleep deprived by Thursday and by Friday the house will be a bomb.
Being a working parent is challenging and often there are no easy answers. My wife is an absolutely amazing working mum, and we both have really busy schedules. Because of this the advice I would say to new dads in a similar situation is to find time to still go out for dinner or do something special as a couple, even if it’s just once or twice a month. Other than that, being a dad is the best thing in the world, and just gets better.