ECC created the Parental Fog Cross-Industry Index six years ago to highlight the need for the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers to actively market their support for working parents. The Parental Fog Index is a cross industry tool for employers to benchmark how well their organisation markets support as part of their talent management and gender balance strategies. It includes practical advice for employers to improve their support packages for working parents and how to market it to their competitive advantage. 

The childcare crisis is forcing more women out of work and two thirds of businesses are failing in a basic measure of inclusion by not being clear about family-friendly policy for prospective employees. However, this year we have enjoyed seeing 31 companies improving their rating and 11 achieving the highest rating of Beacon status. 

To find out more about the barriers facing working parents and how their employers should offer support, plus how the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers scored this year download the Parental Fog Index Cross-Industry 2023 report. 

Top findings from this year’s report: 

  • Number of employers promoting support for working parents increased 23% 
  • Despite this, two thirds of employers miss opportunity to market family-friendly credentials 
  • Fewer employers publish basic details of paternity leave and pay than maternity 


“There is consensus among economists, business leaders and politicians that the full economic participation of working parents, mothers in particular, is critical to economic growth. The need to support them to manage work with care responsibilities is a regular news feature. That said, the topic was curiously absent in the Autumn political conferences, here in the UK.  The burden has increasingly been falling to business leaders to implement enhanced parental policies to help parents stay in the workforce.  

This report includes commentary on the four main barriers which force parents to choose between having a career and a family. It will come as little surprise that access to good quality and affordable childcare is at the top of that list. Also included is new guidance on how to strengthen the effectiveness of parental policies, to increase uptake of Shared Parental Leave in a way that is operationally sustainable for the business, and to help remove the barriers men face to equally share care.” Helen Ilsley, Business Development Director, ECC

Have you featured in this year’s Parental Fog Cross-Industry Report?

If you are an organisation that has ranked in this year’s report and feature in either the Beacon or Fully Visible category, please access your:

You can use these awards to display on your organisation’s Diversity & Inclusion page, or to forward onto your marketing department to use as you see fit in promoting your completely transparent support for working parents.