Why Mark Zuckerberg taking paternity leave matters for dads everywhere
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated today that once his new baby daughter is born, he will be taking two months of paternity leave. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting a baby girl. He made the announcement about his planned time off via his Facebook page (of course!) in an adorable post that included a photo of the family dog, Beast, posing alongside their baby seat and stroller.
In the post’s caption, he says they’ve been busy preparing for the arrival of their new daughter by choosing their favorite books and toys, as well as giving a lot of thought to the time they both want to take away from work. Zuckerberg says, “This is a very personal decision, and I’ve decided to take 2 months of paternity leave when our daughter arrives. Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families.”
Facebook offers up to 4 months of paid leave for new parents (for both moms and dads) which employees can choose to take any time during the year following the birth of their child. According to company policy, if he decides to take an additional 2 months off, he can do so later in the year.
Zuckerberg’s decision is a big deal, guys. While more and more companies (like Microsoft and Netflix) have begun offering paternity leave for new dads, it’s still a relatively new concept. Some dads may feel hesitant to make use of it even when offered, but seeing such a high profile dad like Mark Zuckerberg take time off from work to bond with his new child and adjust to his changing family will no doubt help matters, and dads will (hopefully) feel more comfortable following his lead.
His decision also sets a powerful example for paid parental rights for both American working dads and moms. The United States is arguably the most powerful country in the world that doesn’t mandate paid parental leave for new parents. Paid paternity and maternity leave can be absolute LIFE SAVERS for many moms and dads, but such policies are optional for employers in the US.
We love seeing Facebook setting such a great example for other companies, and we especially love Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to his family. Some things are more important than work, even for the founder of Facebook. (Heart eyes forever!)
(Image via Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook)