October 28, 2021

Novo Holdings announces expanded parental leave benefits to promote equity and diversity

To support families in adjusting to their new reality and to promote equal rights at the workplace and in society, Novo Holdings is introducing improved and equal parental leave benefits in the USA and Asia.

For employees in the USA and Asia, the new parental leave policy offers employees 20 weeks of parental leave, regardless of gender. In the US, for example, the new policy is particularly distinct from the existing one as it offers the non-birthing employees 8 more weeks to dedicate to their families, adding up to a total of 20 weeks of leave. The birthing parent will in total get 32 weeks of leave.

The new parental leave policy is both benefitting the non-birthing parents and the birthing parents:

“We have prolonged the leave, and the additional weeks can now be dedicated to the family. By offering this opportunity to both parents, we hope to contribute to more equality in society on the longer term,” says Petrina Knowles, SVP, People & Organisation, Novo Holdings.

“One of the factors that contribute to inequity in the workplace is parental leave, which causes women to lag behind, both in terms of salary levels and pension levels. We want to avoid this, and we want equal terms irrespectively of gender or sexual orientation,” she says and adds:

“We strive to be a sustainable workplace and to create an environment where employees can pursue a long career with continued development, also under changing family circumstances.”

Equal rights for families of different constellations
In Denmark, where Novo Holdings is headquartered, there is a long-standing tradition of generous parental leave rights. However, little consideration is given to families that deviate from the traditional male-female constellation. As a result, parents who are either adopting or form part of a male-male constellation, for example, are generally granted a much shorter parental leave by law.

“At Novo Holdings we believe in equal parental leave rights, but we also believe that a diverse workforce is a better workforce. We are therefore offering the same parental leave rights to parents of different family constellations in Denmark, which I hope will be a step towards creating an even more diverse workplace at Novo Holdings, “says Kasim Kutay, CEO of Novo Holdings.

The increased parental leave benefits in the USA, Asia and Denmark resonate strongly with the overall mission of Novo Holdings.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are key when it comes to achieving our mission of being a supportive owner of the Novo Group companies and making a growing and positive impact on health, science and society. As an organisation, we want to set the highest standards for equality,” Kasim Kutay says.

About Novo Holdings A/S
Novo Holdings A/S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It is the holding company of the Novo Group, comprising Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, and is responsible for managing the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s assets.

Novo Holdings is recognized as a leading international life science investor, with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets. Further information:

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation
The Novo Nordisk Foundation is an independent Danish foundation with corporate interests. It has two objectives: 1) to provide a stable basis for the commercial and research activities of the companies in the Novo Group; and 2) to support scientific, humanitarian and social causes.

The vision of the Foundation is to contribute significantly to research and development that improves the lives of people and the sustainability of society. Since 2010, the Foundation has donated more than DKK 30 billion (€4 billion), primarily for research at public institutions and hospitals in Denmark and the other Nordic countries. Read more at

Further information

Marie-Louise Jersin, Senior Communications Partner, +45 3049 4957,