KPMG will pay golfer Stacy Lewis' full contract on maternity leave

11 July 2018 Authored by Consulting.us

LPGA golfer Stacy Lewis revealed that accounting and consulting firm KPMG – her main sponsor – will be paying her sponsorship deal in full when she goes on maternity leave. According to Lewis, this is the first time a female pro golfer will be paid the full value of her contract while on maternity leave.

Top female athletes often have to choose between becoming mothers and continuing their athletic careers. Without a maternity leave system in place, pro female athletes potentially have to make the choice of whether to give up their income for a year (or more) in order to have a child. As such, many will leave off motherhood until after they retire. It’s an imbalance not felt by male athletes, as well as by women employed at organizations with progressive maternity leave benefits.

As such, the news that KMPG will pay LPGA golfer Stacy Lewis’ contract in full during her maternity leave is a watershed moment in female pro sports. The accounting and consulting firm is the 12-time LPGA Tour winner’s main sponsor.

According to Lewis, this is the first time that a female pro golfer will be paid the full value of her contract while on maternity leave. And according to Lewis, KPMG were the ones who proposed the idea.

KPMG will pay golfer Stacy Lewis' full contract on maternity leave

Not long after Lewis told KPMG she was expecting, the Big Four firm informed the golfer that they would still be paying her sponsorship in full, regardless of how many events she played. Lewis said the decision came from CEO Lynne Doughtie, a working mother herself.

"They've felt from the get-go that I'm a part of their company,” remarked Lewis. “I'm a part of what they do, and they wanted to treat me like that. It 100 percent came from them."

KPMG is a company that strives to be an inclusive workplace that supports the careers of its female employees. Therefore, the firm offers its employees generous maternity leave benefits, including 16 weeks paid maternity leave and 10 weeks unpaid leave, according to women’s workplace review site Fairygodboss. KPMG also offers strong paternity leave benefits to its employees.

Consequently, the decision aligns with the company’s corporate values, while also generating good press for the accounting and consulting firm.

Lewis hopes KPMG’s decision will set a precedent for sponsors of female athletes. "More than anything, it brought attention to it, and that's the goal,” she said. “I didn't necessarily want to put it out there, but the more I thought about it, I was like, this could bring about some change, and we need to get it out there."

"I definitely hope with what KPMG decided to do, I hope it changes the way contracts are written, that that is already included in there, where it doesn't have to come from a CEO or whoever is making all the decisions," Lewis said.

Lewis hit par at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship last week, finishing in 28th place. It was one of her final tournaments of the year before taking maternity leave.

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