Let’s start a conversation around parental leave - how is it at your agency. Does your agency do enough to support new parents? What changes can we make in our industry to better support working parents? Share your stories about being a working parent.

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Let’s expand to talk about family planning, too, please! We know that, what, 50% of our peers are female (and in some cases, especially in PR, that percentage is much higher!) and many of us are delaying having families into our late 20s or 30s. I love that so many companies offer IVF support, but why not also offer proactive fertility support so those employees who focus on their careers first are not penalized in their 30s when it comes to having children later (eg as a high risk pregnancy). Offering options for a broad range of family planning needs, including egg freezing, is increasingly important.

likesmarthelpful

@Garage 1 - if agencies are asking their female employees to work ungodly hours and weekends throughout their prime childbearing years it feels like just compensation to give them a chance to have children later on

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It’s a lot of advocating for yourself — negotiating flexible schedules like WFH a set number of days per week, leaving at 4, 5 or 6 and then logging on post-kid bed time. It also helps when senior leadership sets the example. Some places it’s considered a weakness to acknowledge you even have tiny humans at home. Other places, it’s not. Find the latter For me, right now the hardest part is figuring out how to be a part of my kid’s school culture. I find my workplace much more flexible than schools. Impossible to make PTA meetings, commit to chairing events, etc. because our educational system is still set up as if there is a stay-home parent in each household. Want to volunteer for that committee because you have a great idea? Cool. They meet every Tuesday at 11:30 am; there are no notes circulated and you can’t dial in. Rinse and repeat.

likehelpful

So true

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My former agency used to have two week paternity leave, which I thought was pretty decent. Then they expanded it to six weeks which I thought was amazing. Until I had my second kid, and all of the sudden there was a huge pressure not to take the leave, "your wife won't need you around that whole time," "you'll get bored being away from the office," "when I was out on leave I couldn't wait to come back to work." If you're going to give family leave, then don't make people feel guilty for taking it. It kind of defeats the entire purpose. Encourage people to actually use it.

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Yep. I was quick to shut down people who tried to shame me for using maternity leave.

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6 months (4/2 paid/unpaid) maternity and 4 months (2/2) paternity.

likeuplifting

HULU has you beat with 6 months full pay for women and 3 months full pay for men

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I’ve found that flying under the radar works better for me in a big agency system. I leave when I need to and keep working after the kids are asleep. And I don’t apologize. People learn to work around you and I don’t really care if they don’t like it. They know I’ll pull my weight no matter what though which is key. I’m still working my ass off but I’m making my schedule work for me. Leave has gotten better recently through IPG at 12-14 weeks paid for moms. Dads get more too but not sure how much. Maybe went to 6 weeks?

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I know I will likely be attacked for this, but please at least consider my question before just attacking because I really do want thoughtful responses. I am gay with no kids. I have covered for a million people with babies. Happy to do so and want to do so. I always give my team member as much time as possible and then some because they deserve it. But, I sometimes wonder, should those who cover for all the folks with kids get some kind of benefit or reward as well? Time after time covering work, late night meetings, weekends etc and then folks coming back want the same “everything” when they haven’t been around? Sometimes feels like a huge imbalance even while I applaud folks getting time off. Just wondering about equity. Am I alone or does anyone else have this thought ‘once in a while?'

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+1 for the onus being on the company to backfill, not on other employees to carry the load. And +1000000 for parental leave not being considered a break.

From what I hear - If you’re at an agency that is awards first you can forget about your little reward.

likefunny

On site daycare or daycare options through the company closer to the office.

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Where is this paradise?

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Don’t they usually try to figure out a way to get rid of you once you have kids?

likefunny

Six weeks partial paid leave, plus six weeks unpaid. No support for family planning or daycare benefits. Expects 50+ hours/week. Reasons to find a new job!

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Time have changed. People -including best talents setting big career goals for themselves- pick companies based on opportunities + company policies and benefits. That is a good thing. It will ultimately make employers care more about their employees. That being said managers shouldn’t wait for their company to help. Let’s be human. If a mother or father needs time, just give that time.

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Woeful.

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Which agencies are the best for working parents?

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All about the boss > agency

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16 weeks paid for both moms and dads

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Dentsu Aegis - Mcgarrybowen has this same duration. Starts the day you are employed. Awesome

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Paternity leave is 5 days 😣

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3 months paid parental

Trying to understand our parental leave is like reading Greek and asking the benefits team hasn’t been successful. I’ve asked three times to set up time to understand the leave and nothing. Really abysmal

My company went from 8 weeks to 2 weeks paternity leave. I want to know whose idea that was.

Men

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I get about 16 weeks, mostly at 100% pay. The real question- does anyone have any childcare benefits? Just started looking into it and it’s more expensive than our rent!

Go work at Taco Bell - they have onsite child care 😃

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My company recently announced they were merging with another agency months ago and is still giving different maternity times to employees based on which legacy company they came from. So depending on which agency you’re coming from you could get 6 weeks paid leave or 12 weeks paid leave - which is a HUGE difference. Additionally paid disability is treated differently for each “agency you’re coming from. One is based on how long you’ve been working for the company - the other is just given to you. Seems fair, right?

HR doesn’t seem to care because technically while the company letterhead has merged the finances haven’t. So it’s led to people feeling pretty resentful.

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