Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has planned a 2-month paternity leave as he, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, is eager to welcome the new member in their family. Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced on Facebook that he and his wife are expecting a baby girl. It was then when he also disclosed that Priscilla has had three miscarriages earlier. Zuckerberg goes to explain his time-off he says, "Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families."
Mark Zuckerberg also happens to be the first and also the most famous millennial entrepreneur. His decision to take time off to spend time with his newborn will hopefully set an example for entrepreneurs and millennials around the world to strike balance between professional and personal priorities. Needless to say Zuckerberg will be re-instigating his leadership abilities with this move.
Facebook offers a generous four-month paid paternity and maternity leave to its employees. Even though Zuckerberg is availing the full 4-month sabbatical, his decision as a responsible father can be deemed as a thoughtful one. It’s not just Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced that she is expecting twin girls and they are due next month. However, unlike Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer will be taking a much shorter parental leave i.e of 2 weeks.
Another tech mammoth Netflix also revamped its maternity and paternity leave policy. Nexflix’s full time employees can avail unlimited parental leaves. The year 2015, created a ripple in many large tech corporations – Last month Amazon introduced a six-week paid paternity leave and increased their maternity leave break from 12 weeks to 20 weeks.
Indian bosses, however, have set a poor example with respect to work-life balance. Government offices in India offer up to 15 days of paternity leave but majority of the private companies in India are yet to embrace such policies with open arms. India needs to come forth with respect to bridging gender gap in such policies. According to a World Bank Report named ‘Women, Business and the Law (2016)’, 167 countries have legislated maternity leave while only 80 countries have validated paternity leave so far.
There is a social stigma attached to men participating with their better-halves equally when it comes to family responsibilities. Paternity leave policies could possibly combat this stigma as research shows that when a male employee avails paternity leave his male co-workers are 11% more likely to follow suit. Zuckerberg’s decision will compel young fathers to participate in their children’s care and development.