BNP Paribas in Canada is expanding its employee benefits offering with up to $10,000 lifetime coverage for gender affirmation and fertility treatments.

The bank is also adding eight weeks of paid paternity leave for new dads, as well as increasing its mental-health practitioner benefits to $1,000 and increasing the number of paid personal days from two to six.

While the bank previously introduced improvements like flexible work arrangements and increased paid time off during the coronavirus pandemic, the new benefits are focusing on employees’ specific needs during such a challenging time, says Sonja Volpe, chief executive officer at BNP Paribas in Canada.

Read: CIBC offering enhanced gender affirmation coverage, fertility benefits, paid parental leave

“Those [needs] are very unique depending on where you are in your life. The challenge for someone with young children is different than someone taking care of the elderly. We tried to introduce benefits that maximize [support] for our staff.”

The company made sure to examine their benefits through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens during its most recent assessment, she says. “We made it a priority to [frequently review] our benefits through that lens. It was through this review we realized we should do more in specific areas, one being around fertility treatments and . . . another around gender affirmation surgery benefits to support members in the LGBTQ2S+ community. We want people to feel they can bring their authentic selves to work.”

The benefits enhancements are also the result of listening closely through various forums and channels and making sure managers are close with their teams and individual employees, says Volpe. Through those efforts they’ve been able to hear more about employees’ needs and act on important feedback.

Read: Paternity leave can improve mothers’ overall health: study