- More generous parental leave policies have been buzzworthy lately, as many name brand employers have begun to offer much more generous options.
- Even so, an article in the New York Times posits the notion that these generous new policies may be more talk than action in the long run.
- Why? Because these new benefits conflict with America's growing 24/7 workplace culture — a culture that starts in the C-Suite, according to the Times article.
The Times article mentioned that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced she's pregnant with twins earlier this week, but she also said she would be taking a minimal parental leave (as she did with her first child). She also said she is committed to both her family and her job.
Yahoo extended its parental leave in 2013, but that is "typical and ambiguous," Joan Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings, told the Times. “The underlying work culture sends the message that if you’re really committed, you’re here all the time."
According to the Times, office culture heavily influences whether people feel they can take their full leave. A 35-year-old father of a baby in San Francisco was offered 12 weeks of paid leave in his government job, but took half. “It was phrased like, ‘Take all the time you need.’ It was not phrased, ‘We’ll see you in 12 weeks,’ ” he told the Times anonymously. “It puts it all on the employee, and you want to prove you’re good and valuable.”