With all this talk going around about whether or not women really can “have it all,” (whatever that means), a lot of the conversation is centered around careers and motherhood. A company’s maternity leave policy means a great deal to a woman who plans on having a family. But very few companies share their maternity leave policies publicly. The Maternity Leave Resource Center is working to solve that problem. It’s a database of about 550 companies’ maternity leave policies crowdsourced by thousands of female employees. The database was created by Fairy Godboss, a website that provides company reviews for women.
Maternity leave can play a huge role in a woman’s career goals and trajectory. In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, she talks about how women can check out of their careers early on if they’re planning on having a family one day. They may take jobs that interest them less or not apply for promotions to plan for a more balanced life in the future. Most women don’t even feel comfortable asking a company about its maternity leave policy or expressing interest in having a family during an interview, for fear of not being hired.
A database like this can be a major advantage during the job search, allowing prospective parents — or just anyone who wants to work for a more forward-thinking company — to weigh their options beyond basic perks. It can allow women to make informed decisions on which companies to work for (Netflix and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are at the top of the list FYI), lets companies see how their policies compare and (hopefully!) may even encourage companies to improve their policies. Who wouldn’t want to be in the company of Netflix and the Gates?
Do you think this database will help companies step up their maternity leave game? Let us know in the comments below!