In attempting to maintain our status as a superpower, perhaps the United States should come to the realization that a woman does not have to be sick to have a baby.
While protecting and defending our right to abortion services we must also support the choices of women who want to expand their families. Paid family leave is a natural extension of the choice movement because our ultimate goal is to support women, no matter their choice.
It's hard to pinpoint one solution to this problem, but having the government chime in and acknowledge the difficulties that young working mothers are facing would be a good first step.
It is unconscionable that the United States is the only major country that does not mandate some form of paid family leave.
There are some high-level executives, business owners and heads of HR out there who just don't get it. They don't get the life cycle of a new mother and they don't get that the way things are going now in the world of maternity leave is costing businesses money and resources.
As an administrator and as the grandmother of kids who had bumpy school years when disrupted by maternity leave, putting up with the challenge was worth it to protect the rights of women who have babies to return to their jobs.
I certainly would have welcomed the opportunity to be encouraged to further my career if I felt I could do so and successfully rear children as well. As we move forward, companies like Talking Talent may help provide creative solutions and support so that women don't feel forced to choose between two things they love.
The United States is the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave. The only one.
The world's most innovative and creative organizations should be dreaming up new ways to establish a better work-life balance for all their employees. Instead of holding out a carrot on a stick for would-be mothers, they should be establishing practices to keep them engaged, productive, and excited about work while they raise their families.
Courage is critical, because there are so many situations in which we women have to break through barriers, challenge traditional behaviors and redefine the way others see us.
If I could change one thing about today's landscape, it would be to bring more women into the sphere of leadership. Why?
Tomorrow, I will miss the bonding experience that is nursing my baby. Instead, she will struggle to eat (she doesn't do well with the bottle) as I rush throughout my day to pump for her in a small, confined space. The thought of this alone makes my heart hurt and my frustrations rise.
The state of parental leave in the U.S. sucks. As these charts show, the U.S. is one of only three countries (the other two are Oman and Papua New Guinea) to not mandate some level of paid parental leave at the federal level.
The state of parental leave in the U.S. sucks. The U.S. is one of only three countries (the other two are Oman and Papua New Guinea) to not mandate some level of paid parental leave at the federal level.
Facebook and Apple, for what it is worth, are trying to help their female employees by offering them a choice. It is not perfect, it will not help all women, but it is something huge that they are trying, and for that in itself both companies should be applauded.
What we need are family-friendly workplace policies, not giveaways that will encourage women to undergo invasive procedures in order to squeeze out more work for their beloved company under the guise of "empowerment."