My Wrong Reaction to Paternity Leave (now put right)

How could I have such a wrong reaction to paternity leave?
How could I have such a wrong reaction to paternity leave?
I’ve long been an advocate for working fathers. Then why did I have such a wrong reaction to paternity leave?

My son just started middle school. He’s taking it in stride but I’m finding it hard to believe that my baby boy is now in 6th grade.

Our school district is great. One of the things I like about our schools is their attention to detail. For example, the 6th grade guidance counselor will move with the students and be their counselor in their 7th and 8th grade years. In this way, the counselor really gets to know the students and there’s more consistency from year to year. Really smart.

We were excited to make an appointment to see the counselor. Nick doesn’t have any major issues, but we wanted to get some tips to help him get and stay organized as he juggles multiple teachers/classes/assignments for the first time.

But the guidance counselor is not there.

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How to Get and Take Paternity Leave

I was recently interviewed for a great article in Mashable on how to get and take paternity leave. I give four specific ways we can advocate for ourselves and get the paternity leave we need and deserve. Here’s a quick excerpt, and you can read the entire piece by clicking here or on the picture.

A great article on taking paternity leave from Mashable
A great article on how to get and take paternity leave from Mashable

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Support Family Leave in New York State

Join me in supporting Paid Family Leave in New York State
Join me in supporting Paid Family Leave in New York State

As a working dad, an advocate and a New Yorker, I wholeheartedly support this petition forwarded by A Better Balance in support of Paid Family Leave in New York State. Please join me (and the New York Times) in supporting Family Leave in New York.

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“New School” CEOs Zuckerberg and Mycoskie Walk the Talk on Paternity Leave

My paternity leave was important to me, buyt Mycoiskie and Zuckerberg paternity leave are important for the business world
My paternity leave was important to me, but Mycoskie and Zuckerberg paternity leave are important for the business world

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes are “new school” male CEOs who are sending an important message about the importance of fatherhood relative to business and how an involved home life goes together with financial success.

After all, if Facebook can survive without Zuckerberg for two months and TOMS can get by without Mycoskie for 12 weeks, what excuse do other top managers have for not taking or not providing extended paternity leave? Here are my thoughts on this exciting development.

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Netflix and Paternity Leave- A Golden Age? Not Quite Yet.

Have companies like Netflix ushered in a Golden Age of Paternity Leave? Not quite yet.
Netflix and paternity leave! Have companies ushered in a Golden Age of Paternity Leave? Not quite yet.

We seem to be living in a sudden Golden Age of Paternity Leave.

In the past two months, I’ve seen glowing news reports of major, influential companies such as Virgin Atlantic, IBM, Ernst & Young, Twitter, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, T-Mobile, Facebook, Bank of America, and Microsoft adopting or significantly expanding their paternity leave policies. The latest and greatest announcement is of Netflix and paternity leave- both new moms and new dads can take up to a year of unlimited paid parental leave. That’s practically Swedish of them.

I am thrilled by this rapid progress, and especially by Netflix’s policy. However, during this exciting sweep of announcements, it is easy to forget that the adoption of paid paternity leave is just a first step in creating societal awareness of the importance of involved fatherhood, and the need for corporate cultures to assist men in their work-family challenges.

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Female CEOs Support Paternity Leave

Female CEOs voiced their support for paternity leave
Female CEOs voiced their support for paternity leave

As if we needed another reason why we need more women in leadership!

Last week, I wrote about a Miami Herald CEO Roundtable in which they asked various male and female CEOs about paternity leave. Did they feel it was important? Do they offer it?

The responses of the male CEOs was decidedly mixed. Ranging from the depressing:

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Male CEOs Are Split on the Importance of Paternity Leave

miamiThe Miami Herald asked a panel of CEOs about paternity leave. Some male CEOs supported it, but others seem stuck in the Dark Ages.

Fact: Paternity leave benefits dads, kids, moms and families, and even improves the bottom line.

Fact: One becomes CEO after either founding a company and, through insanely hard work, making it thrive, OR by putting in intense hours at work for a few decades.

Fact: Most male CEOs today have at-home wives, and have not had to directly confront the same types of work-family challenges that most of their workforce faces.

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Real Men Take Paternity Leave

Being there for the first several weeks was so important for my family
My being there for the first several weeks was so important for my family

When I am interviewed about paternity leave, my book, and other “working dad” issues, I always get the question about why, even in companies that provide paid paternity leave, many dads don’t feel they can actually take an extended leave without significant career consequences. My typical answer goes something like this:

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