<p><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/6065e32052f11d001943192d-1919/2020-07-01t081900z_1_lynxmpeg602yr_rtroptp_4_geely-volvo.jpg" border="0" alt="FILE PHOTO: The Volvo logo is seen on a new XC60 model in a showroom near the Volvo Car Corporation Headquarters in Gothenburg May 20, 2010. REUTERS/Bob Strong " data-mce-source="Reuters" data-mce-caption="To match Special Report GEELY-VOLVO/"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Volvo has announced it will set parental leave for all parents at 24 weeks in all countries in a bid to eliminate gender disparities at the company.</p><p>"We want to create a culture that supports equal parenting for all genders," chief executive Hkan Samuelsson said in a <a href="https://www.media.volvocars.com/global/en-gb/media/pressreleases/280244/volvo-cars-family-bond-gives-all-employees-24-weeks-paid-parental-leave">press release</a>. "When parents are supported to balance the demands of work and family, it helps to close the gender gap and allows everyone to excel in their careers."</p><p>The new policy is effective as of April 1 and comes weeks after calls for <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-stimulus-paid-family-leave-childcare-support-permanent-policy-2021-1">paid parental leave</a> in the US to be made permanent legislation. A survey conducted by <a href="https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2021/03/04/is-the-lot-of-female-executives-improving'utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top">The Economist</a> in March also found the US ranked <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-ranks-below-average-on-womens-equality-in-workplace-economist-2021-3">below averag</a>e on women's equality in the workplace.</p><p>Maternity leave at Volvo has always been six months but for fathers, it was determined by national legislation, according to the <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/aea0105b-b432-4f5c-8425-9fe78bddb5f8">Financial Times</a>.</p><p>However, Volvo's new policy is inclusive of all genders and allows all legal parents to take 24 weeks of parental leave, including adoptive, foster, and surrogate parents as well as both partners in same-sex couples.</p><p>Head of corporate functions Hanna Fager said Volvo wanted to "lead change in this industry and set a new global people standard."</p><p><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/5f73752d0ab50d00184ad0ef-2400/GettyImages-1146975886.jpg" border="0" alt="father baby" data-mce-source="Getty"></p><p>"It will cost millions of dollars, but it is the right thing to do, and we hope others will follow," Samuelsson told the Financial Times. He also said it would benefit the business long-term as buyers would "choose brands more on values than on horsepower."</p><p>A survey of more than 440,000 parents at around 1,200 companies by <a href="https://www.greatplacetowork.com/resources/reports/parents-at-the-best-workplaces-2020'utm_source=BusinessInsider&utm_campaign=Report_Parents_2020&utm_medium=Content">Great Place to Work</a> showed that companies with generous and <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/data-great-place-to-work-maven-paid-parental-leave-benefits-2020-12">paid parental leave schemes</a> reported higher levels of employee retention and engagement.</p><p>Samuelsson told the Financial Times the move would likely result in more women occupying executive positions, adding, "We don't want to see females overtaken when they have kids."</p><p>A third of Volvo's executives are women, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-volvo-cars-parental-leave/volvos-latest-export-paid-parental-leave-to-help-female-executives-idUKKBN2BM15C'edition-redirect=uk">Reuters</a> reported, although they are working to increase this to 50%.</p><p>The next ten years look to be transformative for the Geely-owned company, with a shift to only <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/volvo-geely-climate-change-renewable-toyota-ford-europe-sweden-sales-2021-3">electric cars</a> by 2030.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/volvo-maternity-paternity-paid-leave-inclusive-gender-disparity-gap-automobile-2021-4#comments">Join the conversation about this story »</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-symphony-seas-worlds-largest-cruise-ship-deals-with-waste-2020-3">How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship</a></p> Click here to read full news..