When’s the right time during a job interview to ask a prospective employer about maternity leave? If you’re like most working women, you probably answered, “Never.” It’s hard enough convincing a hiring manager that a candidate of childbearing years is worth the risk, without giving them an excuse to shut the door on the conversation. This week, Fairygodboss, a site that reviews employers with working women in mind, released its Maternity Leave Resource Center, allowing women to research companies’ maternity leave policies before they accept a job offer – no awkward interview questions required.
(Photo Credit: storyvillegirl/Flickr)
“To our knowledge, it’s the first time you can search, filter and compare companies by whether they pay maternity leave benefits (and for how long),” the company’s founders wrote in a blog post. “At launch, there were close to 600 companies in the database, across all different industries.”
Resource center data comes from anonymous reviewers who have worked for the companies, and is searchable by industry and company name.
(Photo via Fairygodboss Maternity Leave Resource Center)
Users can also sort the data by high/low weeks off and weeks paid, which offers rare insight into how much – and how little – leave top employers really offer. On the one hand, you have Netflix and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with 52 paid weeks; on the other, you have multiple employers who offer only what’s mandated under FMLA: 12 weeks, unpaid.
Emily Glover at Bustle notes that curiously, some employers even list unpaid leave that’s less than 12 weeks. (Presumably for folks who haven’t worked at the company long enough to qualify for FMLA? It’s unclear, but in any case, hardly a selling point for potential employees.)
How Does Your Company Match Up?
This project could have two positive effects, potentially: empowering working parents to target employers who offer the best leave, and shaming companies who offer less. Until such a time as the U.S. actually mandates paid time off for new parents, this kind of social pressure is the best we’re going to get.
For the record, these are the five employers in Fairygodboss’s database who offer the most paid maternity leave, as of today:
1. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: 52 paid weeks.
2. Netflix: 52 paid weeks.
3. Adobe Systems: 26 paid weeks. 6 unpaid weeks.
4. FireEye, Inc.: 22 paid weeks.
5. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP: 22 paid weeks.
To see the employers who offer the least paid and unpaid leave, and to look up your next employer and see how they rank, take a look at the resource center.
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Do you know how much leave you’re entitled to take? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.