Adobe joins Netflix, Microsoft in expanding maternity leave


Adobe is the latest tech company to stretch its paid maternity and paternity leave.

Adobe announced today that it’s expanding its paid maternity leave policy to 26 weeks for primary care givers; secondary care givers will be allowed to take a total of 16 weeks.

The announcement comes on the heels of Netflix’s recently launched program that offers new moms and dads an unlimited amount of paid leave during a newborn’s first year. Shortly thereafter, Microsoft said it would start offering new parents the option of taking a total of 20 weeks off.

In comparison to other major tech companies, Adobe and Microsoft are just playing catch-up. Google offers new moms 18-22 weeks at home, while fathers get seven weeks. At Yahoo, moms get 16 weeks off. Meanwhile, Facebook and Reddit both enable new parents to take 17 weeks of leave within the first year.

Offering unlimited leave for the first year makes Netflix something of an outlier. Only Richard Branson’s Virgin Group offers a comparable package, as far as we can tell.

Competitive maternity leave is not just another company perk; it’s crucial to getting and keeping women at a company. When Google first bumped its maternity leave from 12 to 18 weeks, it saw the number of women who left the company decrease by 50 percent. Women often feel pressured to choose between motherhood and staying in the workforce, because of the immense attention that both a job and a newborn require. Flexible maternity leave and help with child care can be a huge factor in keeping women on board. For an industry that is forever bemoaning the lack of available female job candidates, an expansion to maternity leave is long overdue.

While maternity for big tech companies is looking up, often small tech startups overlook maternity altogether. The hope is that if larger companies reinforce the importance of maternity leave, breast pumping rooms, and child care opportunities, small startups will at least begin thinking about their own offerings.

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