To say that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is riding a public relations roller coaster would be an understatement.
First she was celebrated for being hired to the top job at one of the world’s most recognized tech companies while pregnant. Hooray!
But when she took just two weeks for maternity leave, she was alternately praised and criticized — “She’s doing what she has to do to turn around a struggling company!” vs. “Maternity leaves should be longer, not shorter! She’s sending the wrong message about working moms!”
And then, of course there was the now-infamous banning of Yahoo’s telecommuting policy, resurrecting the “It’s good for the struggling company” vs. “It’s bad for working moms” debate.
Mayer fans, take heart — public opinion (and especially the opinions of working parents) may be swinging back into Mayer’s corner again with news that Yahoo is implementing a new, more generous parental leave policy.
Under Yahoo’s old policy, mothers who gave birth received up to eight weeks of paid leave, NBC Bay Area reports. The new policy doubles that to 16. New dads and adoptive parents, meanwhile, will get eight weeks of paid leave.
Some icing on the cake: Yahoo will give parents $500 to spend on domestic needs, like groceries and house cleaning.
The new policy puts Yahoo in league with fellow tech giants Google and Facebook, which also go far above and beyond the minimum maternity leave requirements set by the state of California. The Golden State, by the way, already has maternity leave laws that are considered among the most generous in the U.S.. (Though that may not be saying a ton in a country that’s got some pretty stingy paid family leave practices compared to the rest of the world.)
You’ve got to wonder how many working parents or would-be parents with tech skills are considering sending their resumes to Yahoo right now. Will Yahoo attract more talent this way?
New York blogger Rachel Sklar tells Today.com’s LifeInc she thinks so….and if she’s right, it’ll give those invested in Yahoo’s bottom line a reason to cheer too.
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