Parenting is hard, parental leave shouldn’t be
The United States is notoriously trailing the rest of the world when it comes to parental leave. A recent campaign from The Skimm, #ShowUsYourLeave, seeks to bring awareness and transparency to this deficit. To date, over 300 companies have participated – a great start to improve openness and equality.
Inspired by Show Us Your Leave, we reached out to four of our new parents, to ask them about their experience with the PRECISIONeffect parental leave policies. Here’s what they told us.
Q: How important to you was parental leave when you considered PRECISIONeffect as your employer?
Stephanie Francis, Mom & Associate Creative Director, Art
Honestly it wasn’t something I thought about at the time because it was a few years before we decided to have a baby. The fact that so much of PRECISIONeffect leadership is women with children, made me feel like I could still work in advertising and have a family. It was hard to feel that way in past jobs.
Sophie Malaczko, Mom & VP, Client Services
This was extremely important to me. It’s nice to not have to make the choice between family and career, especially during life’s major milestones when there’s added stress and instability. Knowing also that my managers and team are supportive of my needs made it so easy to choose PRECISIONeffect over and over again.
Tara Kearney, Mom & Associate Creative Director, Art
This was important, but not a deal-breaker. I knew I’d have another child during my tenure at PRECISIONeffect, so it was nice to see that the leave benefits were better than my previous agency.
Henry Doernberg, Dad & Group Copy Supervisor
I can’t quite remember all the details, but my wife and I reviewed the parental leave before I accepted the job, and we determined it would work for us.
Q: Do you feel that a quality parental leave program can build trust and reduce turnover for a company’s employees?
Sophie: Absolutely. For me it has built a sense of unity and loyalty. I want to grow PRECISIONeffect the same way that it has grown with me.
Tara: Absolutely. It’s such an important time for parents, and knowing your employer has a generous policy when it comes to leave is a relief. One less thing to worry about is never a bad thing.
Henry: Absolutely. NPR did a great series on parental leave in other European countries, and the data indicated that when companies make a real investment in their employees’ personal lives, they see a return: employees stay longer, and work happier. Everyone wins.
Q: What was – or was there – something you didn’t know about PRECISIONeffect’s parental leave program before you were on leave that surprised you (in a good way)?
Stephanie: Nothing surprising, but before I decided to have a baby the policy changed to cover 100% of pay, so I was thrilled.
Tara: I had no idea we got 100% paid coverage for the full 12 weeks. That was a nice surprise.
Q: Did you feel your parental leave was enough time to be home with your newborn?
Stephanie: Nope, especially since my baby was born early and was dealing with minor health issues. My husband and I were not ready for me to NOT be her primary caretaker during the day. I ended up having to take vacation to continue my leave.
Sophie: There aren’t a lot of great options for infant childcare, so I would have loved to stay at home until he turned 18 months old – the age when he’s old enough to attend the preschool we are at now with my first child.
Henry: I’ve been asked this by a lot of people. On the one hand, I know too many dads who had to return to work just days after their child was born—so, I couldn’t complain. But I think America is way behind when it comes to parental leave, and that we can afford to enjoy the same standards as many other European countries that offer far more time off.
Q: Were you nervous about your return to work after an extended absence?
Sophie: I was more nervous about how my husband and I were going to balance everything at home with me working full time. But coming back to work—not at all. PRECISIONeffect is my second home, and honestly, I was really excited to come back!
Tara: Nope. I was excited to come back!
Henry: No, just like hopping back on that proverbial bike.
Our goal is to provide our working parents with an easy transition into, and coming back from, their leave. We know how valuable it is for parents to bond with their newborn, which is why we’ve aimed to make the process as seamless as possible.
- 100% paid maternity leave for 12 weeks
- 100% paid parental leave for 4 weeks, following the birth, or placement of a child in their home for foster care
- 100% paid parental leave for 4 or more weeks, plus financial assistance, for adoption of a child
- Family planning through our insurance carrier which includes IVF and infertility services
EASY TRANSITION & CONTINUED FLEXIBILITY
- Our 4-week graduated return was developed with the understanding: returning to work after parental leave can be challenging, and even heartbreaking at times. This transition was created to ensure a healthy balance between our effector’s new life as a parent and their career, and helps them ease back into a work routine with full support from everyone at PRECISIONeffect.
- In order to accommodate our new nursing moms (that choose to work in the office), we have designated a lactation room. Having a comfortable, convenient, and private space throughout the day provides peace of mind and promotes the health of our mothers and their baby through continued nursing.
- If our effectors want continued flexibility, we welcome and support it! We offer a “work from anywhere” policy and will work with our parents to provide flexible work schedules as they see fit (we do this on an individual basis because it’s different for everyone).
All the parents from this blog encourage other parents-to-be to talk to their HR department well ahead of taking their parental leave to understand the full benefit, as well as the associated policies and procedures. We have a lot of working parents at PRECISIONeffect, and we aim to make their new title – “mom” or “dad” – one that’s an easy transition.