Pinterest has long been known for having one of the most progressive parental leave policies in the tech industry, but yesterday it pushed its policy even further. The social media company announced it has expanded its policies for parents again.
The news follows a national push for mandatory parental leave in the U.S. In November, the House passed legislation backed by President Biden that includes a proposal for four weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers in the country.
The biggest change at Pinterest? More time for birthing and non-birthing parents. Pinterest’s update to its policies highlights how Silicon Valley has been leading corporate America in offering generous parental leave.
- Leave for birthing parents in the U.S. was extended from 16 weeks to a whopping 26 weeks of leave.
- Leave for adoptive parents is increasing from 16 weeks to 20 weeks. This is in addition to an increase of monetary assistance from $5,000 to $10,000 for adoptive parents.
Pinterest’s goal is to set a global standard for parental leave. Alice Vichaita, head of Global Benefits and Mobility at Pinterest, said the changes came in response to employee feedback.
- Previously, outside of the U.S., parental leave for employees was 12 weeks, while it was 16 weeks for workers in the States.
- “We constantly evaluate our benefits to ensure that we continue to do our work to advance a culture where employees feel that they can bring their full selves to work and create a life that they love,” she told Protocol. “Women, as we know, have been especially challenged during this COVID period, and we believe that it's essential that we support them, including through the diversity of paths to parenthood.”
- “There's a competitive lens to this as well, and we use that as a point of reference. But I think most importantly, we listen to our employees,” she said. Vichaita’s team works with Pinterest employee resource groups to evaluate their thoughts on potential benefits and to ensure decisions resonate with those groups as well.
Supporting parents requires thinking about the full spectrum of outcomes. That includes miscarriages and newborn health emergencies.
- Employees who experience miscarriage will be allotted four weeks of paid leave. There will be no need for formal documentation to take such leave, said Vichaita. Employees will simply need to communicate confidentially with their manager. There is no tracking required in Pinterest’s internal system as well.
- Pinterest is not a pioneer in miscarriage leave. Reddit was among the first major tech employers to offer it several years ago, and its benefit period at eight and a half weeks is more generous. But Pinterest deserves credit for adding it.
- For employees who have a newborn child in the NICU, Pinterest will offer 12 weeks of paid leave.
- Last, IVF and egg freezing is being made available to all its employees globally.
Benefits like these will require constant evaluation. “We are happy with all the benefits we're able to roll out for next year, but I think five years from now we're going to have to continue to monitor and iterate on these benefits like we do for all of our benefits programs,” said Vichaita.