- Fairygodboss, a career-tracking and maternity-monitoring site for women, reports that Etsy’s 26-week paid parental leave policy for mothers and fathers has been used equally by both genders. So far, half of the 48 employees who took parental leave were men.
- Etsy started offering the benefit in March 2015 for birth and adoptive parents. The company wanted parents to be involved in building a successful company while simultaneously meeting their family obligations, says Fairygodboss. Of the 48 employees who took leave, 35% were promoted. And of those promoted, 41% rose to the directorship level or above.
- Fairygodboss says Etsy didn’t reveal how many women were among those promoted. The maternity-monitoring site says women who go out on maternity often pay the “motherhood penalty,” in which they lose on average 4% of income with each child. High-earning women lose as much as 10% of income, says Fairygodboss.
Etsy should be commended for extending paid parental leave to dads. But since Etsy claims it wants parents to help build a successful company while also fulfilling their parental duties, measuring how well the paid leave policy helps parents will require a comparative review of both equitable pay and promotions between mothers and fathers. Employers must eliminate the "motherhood penalty."
More organizations offer generous paid leave policies to attract and retain the best talent. As employers upgrade their policies, they must ensure that they receive a return on their investment. The return comes from hiring top talent and cultivating an engaged workforce whose well-being and productivity contributes to the organization’s success.