- Every employee should ask their employer and HR department about their company's parental leave policy, a new social media campaign — #AskAboutIt — says. The movement, announced Feb. 19, is the result of an Ad Age and Facebook partnership.
- The campaign is spearheaded by 31 advertising and marketing executives dubbed "the List" and aims to create awareness of the "business and ethical imperatives" of parental leave. A study from Morning Consult on behalf of the campaign discovered three-quarters of workers cited parental leave among the top three most important workplace benefits, and 91% of businesses described paid parental leave as "good for profitability."
- "Even as an executive of a company who was running all of the operations, I never really thought about what the parental leave package looked like," said Thai Randolph, The List member and general manager and EVP of Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud network, in a media release. "Have a conversation with the executives in your company. If you're an executive, have a conversation with your team."
Some businesses appear to already have received the message Ad Age is spreading about paid parental leave. Goldman Sachs announced in November, for example, that it would increase its paid parental leave benefit to 20 weeks for all all new parents, regardless of their caregiver status. The bank upped the stakes in providing paid parental leave by expanding the benefit beyond average 16 weeks of paid parental leave offered by its peers, which include JPMorgan, Citi, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg reported at the time.
Parental leave is being talked about outside of the traditional business context, too. Congress approved and President Donald Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which grants federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or placement of a child. But since the provision is aimed at only federal workers, the U.S. remains the only industrialized nation without a parental leave policy.
As employers add or edit parental leave policies, they may consider how mothers and fathers may take advantage of the benefit. When Ernst & Young equalized its parental leave program, the number and percentage of men taking full leave more than doubled in two years, the company said. This, in turn, reduced turnover among women at the company, bringing the difference of turnover between men and women down from 15% to 0% to 2%.