Teri Wilson
November 28, 2015 9:51 am

Just last week, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his plans to take two months away from work when the daughter he’s expecting with wife Priscilla Chan is born. With such a high profile person in the tech world taking paternity leave, there’s been a lot of speculation that it might become a more common benefit offered by employers. (We certainly hope so!)

It looks like that might be the case. Facebook itself is already changing its policy for paid time off for new moms and dads. Lori Goler, the company’s head of Human Resources and recruiting, made the announcement last Wednesday via Facebook (obviously). Her post began, “I am proud to announce today that we are extending our parental leave policy for full time employees to cover four months of paid baby leave for all new parents, no matter their gender or where in the world they live. This expanded benefit primarily affects new fathers and people in same-sex relationships outside the U.S. It will not alter the existing maternity leave currently available to all employees worldwide.”

Prior to this change, paternity leave at Facebook was only available to employees within the U.S. Now it will be a benefit to everyone employed at Facebook, no matter where they live. Great news for the whole world!

We love that one of the reasons cited for this new policy is that Facebook believes “that fathers and mothers alike deserve the same level of support when they are starting and growing a family, regardless of how they define family.” Goler also referred to a Pew Research study that found almost half of fathers worry they don’t spend enough time with their children. Work is an important part of life, but it in no way compares to the wonder and beauty of family. Kudos to Facebook for setting an amazing example and giving ALL parents time to bond with their new children.

Let’s hope other businesses follow this lead! We wouldn’t be surprised if they do. Facebook has already had such a huge impact on the lives of pretty much everyone on the planet. If their influence extends to being a champion for gender equality, we say all the better!