Over the past year, there’s been quite a bit of discussion in political and social circles about paid maternity leave for women. But in a new op-ed for Fortune, CNN’s Poppy Harlow takes aim at a slightly different yet related issue: paternity leave.
In her piece, titled, “My Husband’s Paternity Leave Was a Gift to Our Family,” Harlow laid out her case for paternity leave, noting that “‘providing’ is so much more than bringing home a paycheck.”
— Poppy Harlow (@PoppyHarlowCNN) March 20, 2017
She shared her own husband’s decision to take time off to be with her when she delivered the couple’s child. Harlow explained:
My husband Sinisa provided for our family after the birth of our daughter Sienna in a way that I would come to learn was the one of the greatest gifts he could ever give us.
He took a month off work last spring when Sienna was born. And he really took it off: No going in for “just this one meeting.” Just off. Home. With us. That time provided for our family in a way no paycheck ever could.
“Things are better today, no question,” Harlow wrote. “I doubt many would publicly call a new father’s decision to take paternity leave ‘flaky,’ but there are still those whispers, eye rolls, and silent judgments new dads face from some colleagues and managers if they decide to take time away from the office to spend with their new baby.”
Harlow acknowledged that not all small businesses can afford to offer paid time off and explained that the government’s potential role in the discussion is still being debated. In the end, though, she made it clear that she believes it’s unfair for socioeconomic status to be a barrier for new parents — both male and female — to spend time with their newborn babies.
Read the entire op-ed here. What do you think? Is paternity leave something more companies should offer?
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