{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Let’s start a conversation around parental leave - how is it at your firm? Does your firm do enough to support new parents? What changes can we make in our industry to better support working parents? Share your stories and thoughts!", "post_id": "5c621d955da99c0018e7b450", "reply_count": 191, "vote_count": 23, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Let’s start a conversation around parental leave - how is it at your firm? Does your firm do enough to support new parents? What changes can we make in our industry to better support working parents? Share your stories and thoughts!

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at
Highlighted IconHIGHLIGHTED

Compared to what’s out there in the US, our policy is ok (8 weeks with the option to take up to 6 month off if you combine disability, family leave, PTO and LoA). That being said, it’s still not enough compared to other countries. It takes moms 18 mo before they are fully recovered (mentally and physically) so it’s difficult to expect them to come back in a few months and be on their A game. The mind is elsewhere and they are still trying to figure everything out, plus losing sleep at night because the baby is up. It’s a ridiculous burden working parents face. I’m glad that firms are finally starting to realize this and making changes to their maternity/paternity policies, but there’s still a long road ahead. We need a few firms to lead the change and offer 12 months of leave for new parents, for instance, to be on par with what the rest of 1st world countries. It doesn’t have to be all fully paid leave, but providing the option to take that time with job security be a game changer. I think we will get there because a few firms offer that now (eg., Netflix), but I look forward to the day one of the consulting companies takes the leap because the others will follow suit.

likeuplifting

Good Lord M2. You really do not know of which you speak. Many firms, if not all, have maternity leave run concurrently or is treated as FMLA, STD, and if needed LTD. Women do not get extra STD, LTD, or FMLA leave. Pregnancy and birth are treated as STD and FMLA in most cases. Just so you know, there are some cases where complications from pregnancy and/or birth do leave the woman with life long disabilities...

like

We both work at Accenture and while my maternity leave is decent (16 weeks), paternal leave is awful (2 weeks). As any person who has had a baby knows, the first 8 weeks are sleep deprivation hell, moms more often than not are dealing with post partum depression, they are still hurting and recovering whether it is vaginal or c section, breastfeeding is not as easy as ppl think etc. And then to be told ‘and you have to do it alone for the most part bc you husband has to work or risk losing his job, and then comes home tired, or has to travel so you are hurting, sleep deprived and depressed but we don’t care, do it on your own’ - is just ridiculous . Not to mention it deprives fathers of the opportunity to bond more with their babies and be there to support the family and wife. It propagates the narrative that men work and women care for the kids/ house even when in this day and age both usually work. Makes me mad. If we really want Gender Equality , Dads need to have equal paternity leave to be taken as desired either during moms mat leave or after. Accenture should look to mirror Deloitte in this (can’t believe I’m saying that ;) )

like
Recent IconRecent

Every week travel burns out talent regardless of parental status. That needs to be reviewed and brought down.

likesmart

@Deloitte 4: I’m in Germany and we travel constantly . . . ?

like

We get 16 weeks off for dads. It’s absolutely fantastic and really puts a retainer on my wife to make the lifestyle more sustainable for longer into the future. Really throughout our whole fertility, pregnancy, baby birth journey the firm has been fantastic. Can’t imagine how I would’ve lasted without the tremendous support of my leaders and teammates.

likeuplifting

Yeah the expectation around travel when returning is an insane problem. I came back when my son was 6 months old, but at that age he was still nursing to sleep, twice a night, and in the morning. I would have to set an alarm to pump in the middle of the night the few nights I was gone. Literally any other country would still have the mom on leave, so it’s completely irrational to expect the primary caregiver to be away for 72 hours at a time.

like

A Mom here. Continuing to breastfeed while traveling is awful. Horrible. And pumping at the client site is embarrassing and also horrible. I wanted to work after the first 2 months but with a schedule where I could be around my child and give them the best start. That meant being home. Make that happen for women for at least the first year and then we can talk supporting families beyond that. But that first year is critical to mothers in particular, for recovery, for bonding, for health. That said, I appreciated milk stork, working in town (even though my in-town leads expected me to be onsite 10 hrs a day, 5 days a week, with 1-2 hrs commuting each way, do you know, not even seeing daytime with the young one), the decent-ish 4 months off (that you can only request once the baby is out and you must request within the BUSINESS DAY! Like, wtf insurance companies?) so, when I was in labor for over a day, I technically still had to work the prior business day? I could go on.

likesmart

I wish our company even had milk stork. I ran out of witty comebacks to comments about me traveling with a giant cooler. Plus the suuuuuper awkward TSA moments when security examines every. single. bag of breast milk in front of your male teams. So fun.

like

Reading this thread, it becomes starkly apparent that people who haven't had kids just have no idea. My former self would not have understood what the big deal is with parental leave either, but after dealing with a newborn (and staying in this job, and traveling), it's totally changed my perspective. This is also why it's important for people who have had kids to be among our firm leaders, not just as beacons of hope that it's possible, but mostly because they have the power and influence to change our business in a way that makes the most sense for parents. Because as well-meaning as others might be (and some are clearly not empathetic at all, as demonstrated by this thread), they just don't get it unless they've gone through it.

likesmart

I don’t have children but am I staunch believer in better parental leave policies ESPECIALLY for those who’ve given birth. People swear it’s only for bonding but it’s so much more than that. Childbirth can kill you! Your organs shift, you can form blood clots, complications from c-sections, suicide from postpartum, etc. it’s not just for the baby and people need more time off to heal. Mentally and physically.

Both dad and mom are eligible for parental leave and we are super supportive and actively encourage people to make use of it Where the problems start is for young moms to get back into a schedule with travel . It’s an area where we collectively need to lobby clients to not need these folks to travel every week like usual .

like

16 weeks for dads which is awesome. I've heard too many stories about being passed over for promotion to SM or Partner after taking parental leave. But that said, you never get the time back. Take it. The promotion will come at your next firm.

like

EY12- It’s hard to understand this before you have kids, but priorities often change when the baby is here. Promotion might be important now but you might not care as much about it when you’re a mom. That said, continue to do good work and find supportive partners at your firm who will advocate for you. I was promoted while pregnant. I know another woman who was promoted while on maternity leave. It’s possible. While I’m thrilled with the promotion, I’d also be fine not having it, too, because priorities change and I’d rather have a more flexible work arrangement at the expense of a promotion now.

likeuplifting

I think if you start supporting parenting as a lifestyle choice, you need to actively support all other lifestyle choices or none at all.

like

Literally staying at BCG for the parental leave benefits and healthcare. So their foolish, short-sighted, overpopulate-the-world strategy worked on me 💁

like

I’m glad many firms have great policies, I also think there’s room for improvement. However... To give everyone perspective, my brother and his girlfriend just had a baby. They are both factory workers. His girlfriend had to quit her job, because the company would not give her time off and didn’t want to hold her spot for her. My brother works 50 hours a week to support them, and earns about $2500 a month. That’s to put a roof over their heads, feed them, car insurance, gas, they go without health insurance because they can’t afford it. Baby is covered by Medicaid, mom was covered by Medicaid while pregnant. There is a lot of room for improvement in our firm policies, but our country is failing its people when the situation my brother’s family is in happens.

like

Totally agree. Sorry your brother had to go through that, it sounds rough Firms like ours should help set the standard for others. There’s also more the government can do but that’s a whole other rabbit hole

Another mom here. I agree that transitioning back to work is a big challenge, probably even more of an issue than the number of weeks of leave. I worked on an internal role from home for first 3 months, then did a 2 month client project remotely, so I was 5 months back to work before my first travel project. But the truth is that as much as firm leaders want to be supportive, trying to find a local or remote project is very restrictive and will definitely impact career growth, at least at a place like OW where we may not have the same volume of projects to choose from as Big4. The solution is to still do travel projects but on a more flexible travel schedule, e.g. not M-TH every week. For this to work effectively, you need genuine support from the partners and the clients, otherwise the consultant who are willing to do the M-Th weekly commute will always get preference over you.

likeupliftinghelpful

2 weeks for dad. Too short to take care my wife...

like

M2: when my colleague’s parents were in a serious car crash, she got multiple weeks paid (plus more unpaid time, total 4 months) to go take care of them. When my colleague got ill and needed 6 months of medical time off, the firm covered her through a variety of programs including extended sick days, STD and LTD. When another colleague took off over a year to spend time with a parent with terminal cancer, the company held his job for him until he was ready to come back. When a young associate came back from work too soon after a death in family and realized he needed more time, extra bereavement leave was immediately granted. When my childless, unmarried manager asked to be local to attend weeknight couples counseling, the office found a project for him and the team respected his need to leave at certain times for those appointments. When many colleagues applied for leaves of absence (we have a program where you can do 2 months with no paid salary but all benefits paid), they were approved. Reasons for requesting these leaves I have heard include: -Going skiing -Got a new puppy and need to dog train -Volunteering -Round the world trip -Visiting family overseas -Playing tennis and doing yoga -Training for a marathon -Getting a personal trainer to work on core strength -extended honeymoon -And yes, extending parental leave I get the sense maybe you work for a company where the benefits are marginal or else you would already be familiar with situations like this. The answer to “many people don’t get the help they need” should be “let’s get them more help to the extent possible”, not “don’t help anyone.” If we used that logic, our companies should all pay us $2/day since that is what hundreds of millions of people live on.

like

If your a traveling consultant, someone else is raising your kid and if you have a spouse they are essentially single. #truth

like

I don't have kids myself. But heard coworkers stories: one's son developed separation anxiety, another one's daughter thinks her mom lives at airports.

Travel is the big issue for this industry. I recently reviewed applicants from a nation-wide search & wasn’t sent a single female. When I dug in, I learned that every qualified woman declined to move forward because the roles could require up to 80% travel. If that is the only way to make it in this industry, then we will never move beyond a massive gender imbalance at the top. It is too hard for most women to travel full time when they have small children, and especially if they’re breastfeeding.

like

It seems like the Firms have made much progress on the policy front. Where I see the challenge is in execution and dependence on having an engagement and or PL who is appropriately supportive. It is important plan for the anticipated leave on the front end. Frankly the challenges many of us face go beyond child birth - they extend to juggling older children and aging parents.

like

Mom here with three young kids. Deloitte is great when it comes to paid leave, and at the SM level giving you a break on metrics the 6 months post-return. I never felt slighted at year end. That said there aren’t enough role models and sponsors for working moms to feel like they have someone supporting them and helping them navigate their career post-motherhood. It’s also just plain hard to be gone so often from your children. I’ve always been open to travel while still prioritizing the important events in my kids lives (dr appts, concerts, games, teacher meeting) but I also desire to be around for the mundane every day things as well that may come on a random Tuesday. The other challenge is predictability. I usually have 3-4 projects going on at a time which requires me to be all over the place and I’m having to change my schedule last minute all the time. It’s exhausting on top of managing the needs of three kids.

like

Totally agree that juggling the unpredictability and hours is the real burn now on me- and I only have two kids. As an industry, we can’t truly address the needs of working parents without addressing the hours we work and the unpredictability.

like

Companies that still only offer 6 weeks of parental leave are trash.

like

100 percent the firm does not do enough. My firm added an extra 2 weeks to the leave policy, but as soon as I came back - put me back on the road. Applied for internal roles explaining that I just needed a couple of years where I could work internally and not travel - but no one gave me a chance. Gave the role to people who could travel. In case people don’t know, the first three months of a baby’s life are termed the 4th trimester”. They are not bonding with you; they are fighting for survival. Right when the bonding period starts is when we need to go back to work. And one more thing: the importance of leave is much more significant for a woman than a man. Babies need their mothers (physically, biologically and emotionally) more than their dads during this time. It’s great that men have equal time off as mothers - but totally not necessary. It’s woman who need more time and more support during this monumental time in one’s life

likesmart

Maybe some people want to pretend there is no difference between a man and a woman; but I’m not. I’m a woman who pushed out two kids (one just a few months ago) and was in physical pain for weeks. I’m back at work and I’m still physically dealing with the effects. Not to mention that young babies biologically crave their mothers more. Hey, maybe it’s because we have been breathing and eating the same things for the 9 months. Real men would understand the point I am trying to drive home. It is not about the family that adopts and both parents want “bonding” time. That’s a different issue. #wokeAFbutarealist

like

At PwC in a Nordic country. Maternity leave starts about two weeks before the due date, and one the baby is born dad gets two weeks off with mum. Then mum has around 8 months off, and then dad has 4 months paternity leave. This is with 100% pay, and PwC covers the gap between public benefits and our salary. Also, if we want, we have the option to take longer off for 80% of our salary, as well as unpaid leave. You cannot be let go while on leave. My office rarely does travel projects, so there’s no issue of travelling. We also get flexible working hours, an PwC guarantees a spot in a daycare they have a partnership with if the public daycare doesn’t have a space. And mum also gets a 1hr breastfeeding break each day until baby is 1 year, so when dad is home with baby they either come to work around lunchtime or mum can leave an hour early.

likeupliftingsmart

Went through two pregnancies and leaves at Deloitte. 4 months for the first, 6 months for the second. Amazing leave program for moms and a huge credit to Cathy Engelbert for making it happen. Coming back both times was challenging, Deloitte needs to focus on re-entry for returning women.

likehelpful

Related Posts

I think women (or primary care taker) should get more parental leave benefits than men

likefunny

Need an advice, even though I’m an HR. So, I’m unemployed at the moment and want to start looking for a new job. I negotiated my way out for several reasons 1) My boss was not comfortable doing diversity initiative insisting that all lives matter and we’re meritocracy based business 2) I was responsible for 33 countries, which was very demanding in a time of Covid, as I had to be on most crisis committees directly or as as oversight, and at the same time I have a child on spectrum, and with the

When I was a kid one of my biggest worries about adulthood was avoiding quicksand. I'm so relieved that it worked out well. 😂😂😂

like

Any clue on who to reach out to over at Mother LA? *I'm not fishing for any mother puns here. See what I did there... 😴

like

How much notice is required before taking parental leave at BCG? Is there something required per rule or is it more just best practice to give 60/90 days notice to give folks time to plan/schedule around it?

like

Any kid birthday party theme ideas?

like

When did you start telling folks at work that you are pregnant? I am 8 weeks pregnant now. i am at a consultant level and concerned whether this will affect staffing since i don't have a deep network.

Is it a bad look to put in your notice after coming back from a maternity leave? Would it burn bridges or not a big deal?

like

Help - my mother got the covid vax and now she has a ton of joint pain and her docs arent helpful. What do I do! Second pfizer dose about 2 months ago and she has lupus - its not the pain that comes when you first get your shot this has stayed for the two months now

likehelpful

FTM of a 10 mo. At what age do you start having baby sitters for date nights and such. No family or friends can help. I am paranoid that my baby will just cry out of strangeness the whole time.

I hate calling parents! What helps you out in making parent contact?

like

How do you feel about Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps? Also, what step are you on?

like

I work with several people with kids and I have noticed quite often that they completely disregard any issues of people with no kids and try to one up work life imbalance conversations with stories of them being parents. It must be hard being a parent but I don’t think people at work should be treated differently or given any additional consideration just because they have a kid. You already get parental leave so If I’m expected to work 12hr I ask the same to be expected from my peers with kids.

like

Ik it’s good practice not to put client names in resume, but what about their parent company or venture backer if they’re a portfolio company (like “flagship portco”)

like

Ladies. Till how many months into pregnancy did you continue working? Which particular months were you careful to get proper sleep and avoid work stress?

like

This baby is competing with my Bose NC headphones. The baby is winning. (No fault or judgement to the mother.... I feel bad for her, she's a trooper).

like

What would you do if you were out on a parental leave for 12 weeks? (Besides taking care of your newborn) Taking ideas!

like

Anyone else experience more challenges with setting boundaries for WLB when your lead is also a mother? I’ve had no issues with setting boundaries with past partners /leads (all males /dads) and have them respect it. It feels harder to ask since she understands the stress too.

like

Has anyone heard of the Natalist? I found their Parent Plans book but the only reviews are directly on their site. Alternatively, are there any recommendations for books my husband and I can read to begin preparing to have a child? I can’t just get pregnant and figure it out, I need to try to go in informed (understanding that there’s no way to truly prepare). Expecting Better and Crib Sheets have very polar reviews and don’t quite fit the bill for me. TIA!

like

With 16 weeks parental leave at EY, 1yr no travel after after maternity for ACN, and all the distractions of workers with children, firms should show some love to the yeoman single or childless people

like

Additional Posts

I think women (or primary care taker) should get more parental leave benefits than men

likefunny

Has anyone here worked with a team of remote engineers in Eastern Europe? Anything I should be aware of in terms of cultural differences or behavioral norms? I’m US-based

like

If I am now a resident of other state but my office is based in nyc, how will I be taxed?Also Since we have been doing remote work is the income now earned in nyc or in the new state?

like

Does anyone know if and how we can opt for reduced work hours/pay? Lot of companies are asking for employees to either take 80% pay and work. Given we are on H1B can we work full time less than 40hrs?

like

TIL - always take PTO on a holiday week if you don't have a project. So over this high-burn PRD shit.

like

I have some interviews for product management roles at some Series C/D companies. I have a feeling I'll get at least one offer. Totally new to the start up game but given that these are both well onto the road to IPO (according to them) can I have them give me a breakdown of equity, strike price, outstanding shares etc? One is a PMM role too. 31, female in Boston if location maters at all when considering any of the above.

like

When do you bring up salary discussions in the interview process? First round? Second round? I’m curious to know everyone’s opinions.

like

I was just promoted to Senior but have already been in a Senior role on my project and my responsibilities are not changing - how would i show this promotion on my resume?

like

Does anyone remember the “nudge” on MSN that used to shake up the screen? Wish we could do the same with Slack or emails 😂

likefunny

God I'm tired of hearing about antibody testing as a means for primary diagnosis of COVID

like

Assistant Account Executive salary in LA?

I signed an offer with NO sign-on BONUS. Is it too late to ask for sign-on bonus?

funnylikeuplifting

Is it wrong that I like when people leave or get fired? Not like I get joy from misfortune but I love the drama and scoop

likeuplifting

TFW you just wanna find out your raise/bonus to determine whether to seriously start lookin for other opps

like

Tips on getting the most out of your HSA card? Do you expense medical bills using your HSA card directly or do you pay with your credit card first and then reimburse yourself?

like

I work at EY, husband works at Deloitte. We both want a Peloton. Thoughts on how to expense this equally using our wellness benefit equally.EY Deloitte

like

IAH...worst airport ever?

like

How critical is upward feedback at BCG? Is it primarily to let managers know how their teams view them, or is it a critical component in evals- promotion and bonus decisions etc? Do people get transitioned out for poor upward feedback?

likehelpful

Who do I talk to about a raise? The HR or CD?

like

Last six weeks at work since I didn't get the H1B visa and moving in August. On the bench.. how should I use my time

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Get realtime notifications and see
what's happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal