When we first set out to build Parentaly, we spoke to dozens of HR teams and hundreds of parents about their experiences with parental leave.
The parents we spoke with were largely of greater privilege — they worked in a corporate environment, received above-average incomes, and started their families later than average (typically 30+ years old). The majority of them worked for companies that I would categorize as very supportive of parents.
In other words: these employers really did want to retain parents, and they were spending a lot of time and money to do so. They did many things “right.”
But more surprising to us was how often we saw these companies do a few key things “wrong.”
We realized that the problem must not be with individual companies — it must be something bigger. There was such a disconnect between what these parents were telling us they wanted — or what they felt would be supportive to them — and what these hundreds of (very parent-friendly) companies were doing.
And so we offer this guidance in the hopes that managers and HR teams will better understand — and avoid — these four common mistakes that companies make when it comes to parental leave.