Good news for anyone looking to breed! Many large companies are finally wising up to the fact that granting paid leave to new parents is beneficial for everyone. And a number of those companies are taking this concept even further. In an attempt to “close the gender gap,” Stewards, a textile company based in Illinois, is actually offering extended paternity leave to its male employees.
Robert Forman, CEO of Stewards, explains his company’s unorthodox approach to employee benefits as a simple matter of equality. “We’re trying to offset sexist practices that have been upheld for centuries,” he says. “Women are expected to be the primary parent, but that default setting no longer works for every family. Occasionally, it’s the dads, and that’s why we’re giving all dads more time off than women. Just on the off-chance that’s the case.”
Forman goes on to explain why fathers would benefit more from paid parental leave than mothers.
“Women are hardwired to nurture babies. It’s instinctual for all of them,” he says, “But men can be a little in the dark when it comes to figuring out baby stuff. We want our male employees to have plenty of time to adjust to caring for a child, plus a few extra weeks to really just let loose and take care of themselves. Maybe take a fishing trip with the boys or something. Again, we’re really doing our best to combat harmful stereotypes here.” He adds, “But still, some stereotypes are true. Women are good at baby stuff.”
No word yet on how these new measures will affect productivity once new mothers and fathers do return to work, but on thing’s for sure: The guys are happy.
“It was so fun to be a stay-at-home dad when my wife was still home,” says Gary Odile, head of customer relations at Stewards. “The baby is real cute, and whenever Marla laid down for a nap, I got to chill with it and feed it and look at it. Then, when Marla went back to work, I hired a nanny and went on a road trip with my college roommates. Sometimes you just gotta get away! And five months after my kid was born was one of those times, for sure. Thanks, Stewards!
No word yet on whether or not this practice will be implemented by other progressive companies, but one thing’s for sure: Women make great mothers.