At Yahoo, where CEO Marissa Mayer famously bailed on her own maternity leave and then immediately told everyone to start getting their asses to work, the company has plopped out a new set of parental leave policies that are becoming the new standard among Silicon Valley corporations.
The maternity leave policy doubles the amount of time a new Yahoo mom can take off (with benefits) after squeezing out her bundle of joy, allowing for 16 weeks instead of the previous eight. Exclamatory dads also get eight weeks off of work each time they father an offspring and both parents can get two months of paid leave after adopting or fostering a child. In addition to the time away from work, proud new Yahoo mosm get a $500 bonus to spend on Bay Area house cleaning, babysitters and "Yahoo-branded baby gifts" like this potentially embarrassing "Born to Yodel" onesie.
Yahoo's new perks puts the company in line with their Silicon Valley rivals over at Facebook and Google. At Facebook, even the dads get four months off to properly document their child-rearing skills on Facebook, and Google where they reserve parking spaces for moms-to-be. Of course, theres a motive behind all the perks: as Jezebel points out, making a company man of expectant moms will be helpful in eliminating potential work distractions for many employees in the same way that free rides to work and lunches that don't suck help to keep employees focused.
Or, as women-in-tech expert Rachel Sklar put it:
"The temptation will be to see this through a gender lens - -that of course she did it because she's a new-mom CEO," Sklar said. "And this certainly would suggest she has a heightened awareness as a working mom, but this will encourage new parents to be engaged with the company and have a financial peace of mind. When companies nickel-and-dime their employees, it just adds to their burden."
The nationwide standard for maternity leave is fairly lame and leaves new moms to fend for themselves with 12 weeks of unpaid time off. On the sunnier side, under Mayer's rule, Yahoo has handed out free iPhones to employees and redesigned drab workspaces. Or, in other words, she Googled the place.