Parental Leave Gender Equality

For years gender equality has been a major issue in the workplace. Women constantly not being treated fairly as far as pay, being treated equal and receiving equal pay as men. But when it comes to one thing men can’t do, birthing a child, why can’t men get time off to help their wife and family like women do?

I understand, woman have to recover and tend to be the primary care givers when it comes to children, but times are changing. More and more men are starting to be stay at home dads while women are out bringing home the bacon.

In at least 178 countries around the world, paid leave is guaranteed for working moms, while more than 50 countries provide wage benefits for fathers, according to the ILO. The United States, along with Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia and Lesotho are some of the only countries in the world that provide no type of financial support for mothers, according to a study done by McGill University’s Institute for Health and Social Policy.

Netflix recently announced that it would offer something completely unheard of in the corporate world: unlimited parental leave for the first year of a child’s life.

“We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances. Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed,” said Tawni Cranz, Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer in a statement.We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay.” The policy applies to parents who adopt, as well.

Some of the bigger tech companies already offer generous parental leave — Google offers mothers five months off and Facebook offers mothers and fathers four. But no one’s doing unlimited leave. And most companies offer women more time off than men.

Working full time myself and expecting baby number two soon this was something that I was very interested in. I honestly would love to be able to have time off, where I am paid the same, to spend with my family, helping my wife with anything that she may need and take care of the children so mom can recover.

Isn’t it crazy that we, the United States of America, being such a strong country don’t have any kind of paid leave in force? What needs to happen so that this can be a reality for all companies? We are one of seven countries that don’t offer anything (read more here).

Fortunately for me, I work at a place where I can use my vacation to spend with my family at such an amazing time in our lives. This is going to be one of the greatest vacations I will ever take.