The 12 weeks provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act is clearly too short. A 2005 study found that American babies whose mothers were back at work within 12 weeks were less likely to get doctors' visits and immunizations on time, and less likely to be breastfed
The benefits of parental leave extend beyond newborn health: When fathers take leave, they participate more in early child rearing, and that level of engagement continues after the leave ends. The evidence also shows that mothers who take leave are more likely to get raises in the year following their leave -- 54 percent more likely.
It was astonishing to realize that just one generation ago almost none of today's modern -- albeit often mediocre -- maternity policies even existed.
The ways in which businesses benefit from offering paternity leave are so clear and proven that corporate leadership has to dig its collective head way, way down in the sand to miss it.
If managing a healthy work life balance were as easy as scheduling dinner with your daughter or turning off your phone to take a break from work, it seems every parent would be doing it and giddily reaping the benefits. After all, who doesn't want a clear division of work life and home life?
Employers treat replaceable workers as costs to be cut, not as assets to be developed. Replaceable workers almost never get paid family leave, they get a few paid sick days, and barely any vacation time.
The challenge for Netflix is how to encourage dads to take full advantage of this policy. Dads are not moms. They require efforts that speak specifically to them--that meet their needs and wants as dads broadly and within the context of work-family balance.
If more young women are joining the tech industry, who will they have as mentors and role models if established women in tech are leaving in droves? It's time for companies to accept and address cultural shortcomings and start working with female employees to fix them.
Netflix made a giant leap ahead of 99 percent of corporate America this week when it announced an unlimited first year leave policy for new parents. We can only hope other companies hop on this bandwagon. But a bigger question is why access to family leave has to depend on where you work.
My message to millennials is this: if you seek both a rewarding career and a fulfilling personal life, you will have to make choices, but choosing between career and family is not one of them. Don't believe it has to be all or nothing. Stop beating yourself up with the elusive quest for "balance."
I conducted my doctoral dissertation research on stay-at-home mothers' experiences of career exit, stay-at-home motherhood, and career reentry. Each woman had her own experience and circumstance that led to her career exit. The good news is that there are ways that organizations can better retain their working mothers with the help of improved structures and policies at the governmental level.
Obviously, military families make incredible, admirable sacrifices, and many personnel can't be allowed to leave for longer blocks of time. But if the Navy can part with new moms for 18 weeks after a birth, it can part with at least some new dads for more than 10 days total during the child's first year of life.
Whenever I'm heading off to Mongolia for research, colleagues and friends react with a mix of bewilderment and concern -- as if I'm flying away to a faraway planet.
I want my little boy, and his big brother, to grow up in a world of real gender equity. Of equal pay for equal work. Where moms are proud of their work both out in the world and at home -- and where dads get credit only when we take on a fair share of parenting.
Maternity leave is still perceived as a key barrier to women's success in the workplace - so much so that women still talk of a Motherhood Penalty.
American companies can do better. When we are behind Saudi Arabia in an issue relating to women's rights, you know there is a problem.