Revolutionizing access to paid leave: The birth of

Mansi Kothari
Dec 5, 2023
People talking

In a world where the balancing act between career and family often feels like a tightrope walk, Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code and Moms First is creating tangible solutions. In a recent launch episode for The False Tradeoff, Saujani unveiled a practical yet groundbreaking innovation from her team at Moms Firsts: This AI-powered solution streamlines the application process for paid family leave in New York State – and it has big ambitions to continue to leverage AI to transform the public sector.

Moms First is on a mission to expand access to paid family leave and affordable child care everywhere, by partnering with private and public institutions. 

Why? Because “so many moms today are having to pick between quite frequently taking care of their children and going to work, which is unconscionable.” The U.S. is the only industrialized nation without access to federally mandated paid family leave.

How does fit in? We sat down with Saujani, who outlined a three-part plan for how can revolutionize access to paid leave and ultimately support more women in the workforce.

1. Launch in New York State

Currently, there are 13 states in the U.S. that offer paid parental leave, but Saujani chose to launch in her home state of New York in order to test and learn before expanding further. utilizes generative AI to ease the burden of applying for and accessing paid leave, increasing their economic stability. It’s a simple and user-friendly tool that demystifies the bureaucratic complexity of leave management and guides users through the filing process so that they can maximize their time off.

2. Expand to more states – then go federal

Saujani is already in talks with governors of other states that offer paid leave to geographically expand her technology in the future. She believes that soon, even parents in states that don’t have paid leave yet will say, “Wait, what about me? I want this too,” and they will reach out to their legislators for better support. Saujani’s vision is that will eventually become a catalyst for change by building a movement of parent advocates who will generate the future passage of federal paid leave. 

3. Leverage technology for public good

By harnessing the power of technology, Saujani and her team are paving the way for a future where access to essential benefits is no longer a privilege but a fundamental right. The implications extend beyond paid leave, and can serve as a blueprint for other public sector challenges. There are so many benefits that families are entitled to but are made too difficult for them to access. In Saujani’s path forward, generative AI could help them take advantage of child tax credit, pre-K seats, and beyond.

At its core, represents a triumph of innovation and empathy—a testament to the power of technology to uplift and empower communities. As Saujani eloquently articulates, the true measure of success lies not in accolades but in the tangible impact on people's lives.

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Learn more about how Moms First is using technology for social good

Hear the full episode of The False Tradeoff.