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 16 weeks for primary caregivers; secondary caregivers will be allowed to take four weeks. New moms can also use their maternity leave in tandem with paid medical leave for a total of 26 weeks off.
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 to 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 of maternity leave is long overdue.
While maternity for big tech companies improves, others in the Valley have a long way to go, with many small tech startups overlooking maternity altogether. If larger companies reinforce the importance of maternity leave, breast pumping rooms, and child care, small startups will at least begin to think about their own benefits.