October 13, 2019

One Way or Another, Mothers Pay for Parental Leave

“Corporate parental leave policies are earning their share of headlines: Netflix offers 52 weeks of paid leave, Microsoft offers 22 weeks to birth parents and 10 to those who don’t give birth (and now will only work with companies that offer paid leave as well), and Amazon offers 20 weeks to mothers and will even shell out for their partner’s parental leave pay—even if they don’t work for Amazon. These are glimpses of progress among companies in a country still behind the curve on parental leave. But even these changes haven’t made a dent in a culture that still is yet to fully embrace the idea of parental leave.

In the U.S., only 14% of the men who have access to parental leave take more than two weeks after the birth or adoption of a child, according to a study by Ball State University.

Why aren’t fathers taking paternity leave? They don’t want to suffer the motherhood penalty.

A Deloitte survey found that 57% of men say taking paternity leave would be perceived as a lack of commitment to their careers—a penalty all too familiar to mothers who also do paid work.”

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