Like all dads, there’s no better gift I could receive this Father’s Day than more time with my two amazing kids. Dads spending time with kids isn’t just nice for the dads. Particularly in the weeks after birth, engagement by fathers has a host of benefits for the child, family, and our economy, according to research. Sadly, most American families don’t enjoy the same quality of parental leave benefits as the rest of the world. In fact, out of 185 developed countries, the U.S. and Papua New Guinea are the only ones left without laws mandating parental leave on the books.
When people can join a company and build long careers without having to sacrifice time with their loved ones, the company experiences a financial net plus. A strong paid parental leave policy just makes good business sense. That’s why at NGP VAN, we offer our employees up to 12 weeks of fully-paid parental leave, including adoptive parents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Honestly, it’s probably not enough, and it’s not as good as what some countries provide, but it’s a start, and it’s what we could afford to do on our own, as one company bucking a bad national policy.
Having parental leave policies is also about values. There's no way women can find true equality in the workplace until it’s culturally acceptable for men to share the burden of balancing work with family.
That’s why, as we celebrate Father’s Day today, I ask my colleagues in company and organizational leadership roles, especially in the progressive community, to take advantage of the opportunity to effect meaningful change in the lives of their employees (and the country) by taking action on paid parental leave.
I’ll tell you, it’s very rewarding to get a note like this from a team member:
"It’s unusual for companies to give fathers time off when their children are born. At NGP VAN, I was actually encouraged to take paternal leave. Having a newborn is such an important yet fatiguing period in a parent’s life. It means the world to have the time and support to bond, learn, and play with your newborn, creating irreplaceable memories and impressions. NGP VAN obviously cares about its employees."
– Jim Alexee, NGP VAN team member
OK, I admit that it’s kind of cheating to use baby pictures to push a policy position. But seriously, there’s momentum on this issue, including from other progressive companies like The Campaign Workshop and Blue State Digital, which have also adopted similar policies.
Want to talk about creating a policy or borrow our policy language? Just let us know, we’re happy to help. And, If you want to be part of a tech company that lives by progressive values, check out our open positions.
Happy Father’s Day!
Stu Trevelyan is the CEO of EveryAction & NGP VAN.