From Generous Paid Leave to Adoption Benefits, These 7 Companies Understand the Importance of Caring for Employees' Whole Selves
It's well known that the United States is the only developed country without a paid parental leave policy.
As of 2018, only 17% of U.S. workers had access to paid parental leave.
Thankfully, some companies are stepping up and creating parental leave policies that ensure moms and dads can take the paid time off that they need as they grow their families.
Because it's not just women who need time off to care for and bond with their children. Women, men, children, companies and society at large all benefit when companies offer paid parental leave.
Not to mention, offering and encouraging men to take parental leave helps mitigate the penalty mother's face for taking time off to care for children. Encouraging moms and dads to take paid leave can help set the tone from the start that it's not just mothers who should shoulder the burden of childcare.
Want to work for a company that knows how important it is to support new parents? Read on to learn what these 6 companies are doing to support parents after they welcome a new child and how it's benefitted their employees.
How These Companies Handle Parental Leave — And What Their Employees Have to Say
- Vrbo offers up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave (yes, dads, too!) for eligible new parents with at least one year of service.
- Vrbo provides a new parent benefit of $500
"I feel lucky that I was able to find a great job at Vrbo where this benefit was available and I wasn't in a position where I had to make a choice between spending time with my new baby or going back to work earlier for financial reasons." – Alanna Dayton, HR Generalist
"My husband and I both work for Vrbo and we are so thankful for the 12 weeks of paternity leave and 18 weeks of maternity leave Expedia Group offers. We're grateful for the time we've had to learn about our new family and new normal." – Mairin Heard Annen, Marketing Manager
In the event of any full-time employee's birth, adoption, or fostering of a child, Chainalysis will give an employee who is the primary* caregiver for the new child 12 weeks of paid leave (full compensation). This leave runs concurrently with your state's or countries leave policies.** An additional 4 weeks of unpaid (with benefits) leave will be granted upon request and with the employee's manager's approval. Chainalysis will also grant full-time employees who are not the child's primary caregivers up to 4 weeks of paid leave (full compensation).
We encourage our employees to take the full amount of their leave.
"Chainalysis was incredibly supportive both before, during, and after my maternity leave. Leadership was respectful of my time away, but also remained mindful of my career goals and never underestimated me. The transition back to work was pretty seamless and I appreciated their flexibility while both baby and I got used to daycare."
- Hannah Spellmeyer, Global Talent Acquisition Manager
At S&P Global, we view our offerings as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship we have with our people while providing yet another way to invest in them and our business. Our benefits philosophy is predicated on a panoramic view of the person and a holistic view of the world in which our people live and work every day. This is why we found it important to expand our parental leave practices in 2019. S&P Global team members in the U.S. are now eligible to take up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave upon the birth, adoption, surrogacy or foster care placement of a child.
"Having a supportive and inclusive parental leave policy means that S&P Global truly cares about its employees. Not many companies give almost half a year of paid leave when starting or growing a family. Having this option encouraged me to start my family now, and I will forever be grateful to S&P for giving me that opportunity."
- Kolbie Owens, People Team, Recruiter
Bloomberg's gender neutral parental leave policy grants primary caregivers – male or female – 24 weeks of fully paid parental leave, plus 10 transition days (one day off per week for 10 consecutive weeks) immediately following an employee's return to work. The policy serves as a new global minimum standard following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.
Secondary caregivers will continue to receive four weeks of fully-paid leave.
Read more about the policy here.
Zapier offers 14 weeks paid leave for new parents.
"Zapier's Parental leave policy was one of the reasons I wanted to work here. When I joined Zapier, I was still a few years away from having kids. But I think a parental leave policy shows the character of a company. It shows that a company cares about its employees. It shows they consider everything from work/life balance to mental and emotional health to how workplace policies impact the entire family not just the employee in the policies they make.
Once I became pregnant, I got to see these policies implemented first hand. In a time of change and uncertainty, the one thing I didn't worry about was taking time unpaid or trying to juggle work and a new baby. Zapier offers 14 weeks fully paid Parental Leave. For those 14 weeks I unplugged from work and focused entirely on my new baby and my own recovery.
My transition back to work was really hard, as it often is for new parents, but I felt supported through it. My coworkers were universally supportive in those weeks. Many are parents themselves and offered advice on navigating this transition. My manager created an 're-boarding' plan to help ease me back into work and encouraged me to take the time I needed adjusting back to work. I picked my baby up early from daycare and visited him over lunch every day in those first few weeks. Knowing that I had a team and manager who understood what a challenging time it was made all the difference for me.
I'm a mom and I want to pursue my career. It is a constant balancing act and it is always going to be hard. Zapier's parental leave policy and culture of supporting parents makes it that much easier."
- Beth Hills, Product Manager
"One of my favorite things here at Zapier is our #fun-moms channel. We have a #fun-parenthood channel there too, but it's great to have a place to talk about stuff that's a little more specific to mom life - like how to pump on Zoom calls. We're all in this together, and I really appreciate a space to share our experiences and learn from one another."
- Erika Klics, Recruiter
- 12 weeks fully paid maternity leave, with the option to take up to 52 weeks total (for US and UK employees, payment adheres to the UK's Statutory Maternity Pay policy)
- 4 weeks fully paid paternity leave, with the option to take another 4 weeks (fully paid) 6 months later
"I'm lucky in that YCBM's paternity leave is far more progressive than most, which clearly recognizes the role of the father in this truly life changing event. I was given time to not only adjust but also enjoy the special early days of bringing a new baby into the world. This meant the world to me and I feel we were really able to enjoy those early days together as a family."
- Jonathan, Head of Product
Greenhouse provides new parents, including primary, secondary, and adoptive caregivers, 16 weeks of paid parental leave.
Some additional perks we offer include:
- Free grocery delivery up to $200 within the first month after new child arrives
- Greenhouse care package - includes a Greenhouse onesie, an item off their baby registry or gift card to Baby Store/Amazon (up to $50), and a card signed by the employee's team.
- Urbansitter membership
- Travel stipend of $200 (before tax) per day toward childcare when an employee is on an approved business trip for parents with children age 5 and under [OR] the equivalent amount in a flight and/or travel expenses for the child and, if necessary, the caretaker to come along.
- Flexible return-to-work schedule/reboarding: Employee partners with their manager and the People Team to figure out a plan that works for the business and the employee.
Fertility, Egg Freezing & Adoption Benefit:
In order to support employees who plan to become new parents, we use WageWorks to reimburse 80% of eligible fertility treatment, egg freezing, and/or adoption costs up to $8,000 every two years.
"Having an amazing policy for all different kinds of families demonstrates the care and investment Greenhouse makes in their team. Personally as a new mom, it meant I had the support from my team to take time and physically recover from childbirth, bond with my son, and get used to this new life stage.
I have a great relationship with my leadership team and welcomed personal check-ins at various points throughout my leave to see baby photos...and eventually discuss my transition back to work as it got closer. The first week back is hard no matter what and my Director and VP were so thoughtful.
They treated my first few weeks as a reboarding period, so they helped me get up to speed on what changed while I was away and gave me time to catch up with people. They greeted me when I arrived, made sure that I was set up with all the necessary IT updates for my work computer, and even bought me flowers for my desk.
I had so many intense feelings around being back/not being with my son and they made sure I knew it was ok to leave early, take a walk, or talk with them about how things were going. At Greenhouse, we talk a lot about helping people feel like they can bring their whole self to work everyday and right now, my whole self is doing a balancing act.
I don't always feel confident in my ability to be a good mom and a do excellent work. The struggle is so real, and at the same time I know there's a whole team around me cheering me on as I show up everyday to figure it out."
- Liz Neff, Executive Operations Manager
Tiffany Witwer from Elastic is a proud mom of three.
“I enjoy being a parent because it teaches me patience and it gives me a different perspective,” she shares. “It allows me to be more present, laugh more, and appreciate the small things.”
In between her duties as a mom, she keeps herself mentally and physically healthy by running, biking, swimming, or doing yoga — all activities that help her start the day with gratitude. "It gives me the right perspective and attitude to go into the day,” she says.
With an overall positive outlook on life, Tiffany brings that same energy to her customers at work as the Head of Customer Service for Elastic.
We sat down with Tiffany, who shared with us her career journey from civil engineering to customer service. Keep reading to learn top tips for creating happy customers.
Starting a Career in Engineering
Tiffany pursued an undergraduate degree in biological engineering.
“I was always really good at math and science, especially chemistry. And I love being outside in nature and learning about it,” she shares.
It was a college professor’s research on stormwater runoff that motivated her to pursue her master's degree in biological and civil engineering. “I liked his energy and attitude toward learning. It was contagious,” she describes.
While working alongside this professor at North Carolina State University, she presented her work at a conference that helped lay the groundwork for her career. “I met a man who liked my presentation," she says, "and was hiring a civil engineer for a consulting company.”
Taking on this new opportunity, she moved to New York City where she discovered her love of being surrounded by diverse people and cultures, in addition to her new job.
“I enjoyed doing the design work and meeting the customers,” she explains. "I was always the one on the proposals, winning the design work, and building relationships with customers.”
While emerging in the complex realm of storm waste engineering, Tiffany saw how the world was progressing and thought that knowing software and technology would be beneficial.
“So I learned to code, networked, and got a job at a business analytics and software company as a pre-sales systems engineer,” Tiffany says.
Pivoting into a Customer Success Role
As she dedicated more time to customers, her interest in working with them soon began to increase. “What I loved most was that I was using my mind to solve problems, but I also got to interface with customers. I got to meet customers and hear what they were doing and hear how we could help them.”
Tiffany spent 10 years in pre-sales engineering and sales. She then took a job in a different company where she helped build out their advisory services business.
It was there that she built a successful team with coworkers who would lead her to her position at Elastic.
Elastic is the leading platform for search-powered solutions. They help enhance customer and employee search experiences, keep mission-critical applications running smoothly, and protect against cyber threats.
As the Head of Customer Service, Tiffany is responsible for making sure customers are getting the most value out of their software. "It's not only about how customers are using the technology," she explains. "It’s, ‘how is a customer's experience with Elastic? Are we meeting their need for technology?’ And, ‘are we meeting their needs from a support and empathy standpoint?’”
In order to meet her customers’ complex needs, she emphasizes how crucial communication is.
The Importance of Communication in Customer Success
Quality communication is a skill that can often be undervalued. “I think people underestimate how much time is needed for clear communication,” she points out. “Just because you put a message out there, it doesn't mean it’s clearly understood. You need to think through how people are going to respond to the information.”
With the complexities of communication, Tiffany relies on setting clear intentions when communicating in meetings. “I always ask at the beginning, ‘what is your goal for this meeting and what does success look like for you?’" she explains.
Communicating clearly what success looks like for both parties allows for a better outcome. “I think for communications, it's making a lot of time and clearly defining what you want to get out of the interaction.”
Advice for Clear Communication with Customers
Tiffany’s career journey has been a mixture of understanding technology and building relationships with people — learning how to explain the technology to customers and problem solve in an empathic way. This has led to overall customer success. To create clear communication, Tiffany offers this advice.
- Be empathetic and listen to your customers: “If you think about it, you've been trained in your technology, you know it inside and out,” she explains. "But when you meet with a customer, the technology may only be a small part of their job.” Taking this perspective can help you to communicate with more empathy. “It's understanding people's vantage point and then using that to communicate to them.”
- Defining success and clearly communicating it: “I'm a strong believer in getting on calls and confirming the goals and what people want to get out of the call," Tiffany shares. "This way, you know, you are aligned on what success is no matter what type of call.”
- Be genuine: “At the end of the day, people will remember how you made them feel," she shares. "I think for me, it's about being a good human and making the world a better place. And if you can do that in your job as well, that's a win-win.”
- Get to know people: “Getting to know people, their perspectives, and growing with them is what has led me to customer success and to where I am in my career,” Tiffany advises.
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
Click here for some of our highly rated programming bootcamp options! Make sure to check out the discounts available to PowerToFly members.
Josephine Roh loves brunch. Particularly hosting it — and bringing special dishes to life to share with her friends.
The latest recipe she’s mastered is for lemon ricotta pancakes.
Cooking is part art and part science, which might be why the senior technical writer for fintech platform Moov is such a big fan of it.
“I’ve always liked using both sides of my brain,” says Josephine, who studied English literature in college, in line with her right-brain strengths, but also added an economics major to sharpen the analytical left side of her brain. She credits this double-barreled approach with setting her up well for her current career.
“It prepared me to be a holistically well-rounded person when it comes to how I think and work,” she says.
We sat down with Josephine to hear more about how she found her way into a career in technical writing, as well as the tips and tricks she has for people interested in following in her footsteps.
A Career Exploration
Josephine started her tech career in customer success at an edtech startup. “It was great training because at a startup you wear lots of hats,” she recalls, noting experiences in user research and operations. After trying a more quantitative-heavy role that gave her exposure to fintech, she realized she wanted something more creative, with an innovative, distributed company.
That’s how she found Moov.
“I was looking for a place with a remote-first culture, and Moov stood out. Some places were hybrid, or said, ‘Maybe we’ll go back to the office,’ but Moov originated without an office and intended to stay that way,” she says. “But I didn’t want it to just be remote — I also wanted it to be very human.”
To Josephine, that meant a culture of coworkers getting to know each other, respecting each other, and caring about each other — which is how she’s experienced Moov’s culture.
“There’s a lot of mutual understanding,” she says. “Something kind of sweet Moov does is this monthly “unbemoovable” meeting where someone shares their story, with pictures, to the extent that they want to. We’ve heard a lot of nontraditional, exciting stories, including from career switchers, and it lends itself to an angle of diversity and creativity that feels like a very healthy, human-first culture.”
Her first few months on the job were spent learning about the product, coming up the curve on technical writing, and pulling together documentation. After finishing the first set of docs, Josephine decided to start focusing on making Moov’s documentation better.
Her manager saw and appreciated Josephine’s initiative and promoted her to senior technical writer, which made her feel like she had chosen the right environment for her growth.
“Moov has let me run with this, building our docs from the ground up because there wasn’t red tape. There weren’t people standing in my way saying, ‘No, this is not how you do it.’ Me being comfortable with that ambiguity and trusting that people like my manager were supporting me, allowed me to be able to grow in my career to where I am now,” she says.
Technical Writing: An Intro and 5 Tips
Josephine explains what technical writing is by referencing a multi-layered puzzle. “You have to understand a certain level of technical stuff, then be able to build a translation layer and explain it in a way that anyone can understand,” she says.
“It’s about writing guides and documents that help developers implement or integrate with different software. It requires some level of knowledge of how developers think and speak, as well as the tools that they're going to be using to make things happen.” That can take the form of API-heavy reference documents, which are more technical, or more “prose-y guides” that explain more holistically what a feature is and how to use it.
Here’s what Josephine recommends to others interested in the field:
- Make sure you have the right skill set. “Tech writing is good for folks who like writing, and don't mind writing about things that they don't yet understand, who are comfortable with ambiguity or diving into the challenge of learning something new and very specific.” Other key skills, per Josephine: interviewing, talking to people, process management, research, relationship building, editing, writing (duh!), and empathy (to imagine the final product from different audiences’ points of view).
- Brush up on key tools. “I’d recommend that future tech writers learn the suite of tools they’d work with. It’s almost imperative that you would know Markdown, which is kind of like HTML, but it's the language that formats text. It’s what most tech writers type in, basically. It would be good to know how API references are generated, too, and also helpful to know how to work with GitHub.”
- Interview other tech writers! “People are super open to talking about their experiences and because it's different at every company, you may want to get a more holistic perspective and talk to a couple of people. The company really makes or breaks your experience.”
- Practice, practice, practice. “Look at the world of open source. If you want hands-on experience, look for a project with incomplete documentation and ask the owner if you can help with documenting it!”
- Find communities to learn with. Josephine says that the online technical writing community is active and generous. “There are communities for any question you might have about tech writing, as well as free resources. I definitely recommend them.” As far as specific resources and communities go, Josephine personally suggests the following:
- Google’s Technical Writing Courses
- Git and its own reference documents
- The Product is Docs: Writing technical documentation in a product development group, a book by the Splunk Documentation Team
- The Write The Docs Slack community, with job postings, recommendations, and channels for sharing other resources
💎To make a successful career move, you need to follow some steps. Watch the video to the end to get ideas on how to achieve it!
📼Wondering how to make a non-traditional career move? Play this video to get three top tips that will guide you through the process. You'll hear from Lindsay Syhakhom, Cloud Solutions Architect at Logicworks, who shares her own experience in moving from a non-technical role into a technical role.
📼 Make a career move inside your company! Tip #1: Cross team boundaries. Volunteer for tasks that cross teams at your current organization. A lot of people assume that to change careers, they also have to change employers. And that's not always the case. You can lay the foundation at your current job for the career that you want to have. Look for teams in your organization that either partially align or even fully align to the position that you want. And then think of creative ways to interface with that team.
📼 Make a career move using your institutional knowledge! Tip #2: Become the expert. If you are applying to another team in your same company, one of the advantages to your company hiring you versus hiring somebody else is that you know what the company sells, you know how teams function and take seriously that that institutional knowledge is very important. Every company has its quirks. Knowing those things is going to help you when you're applying for the next job.
Make A Career Move Confidently! - Tip #3: Ask For What You Want
Before she applied to become a cloud solutions architect, Lindsay Syhakhom had conversations with members of her team and reached out to people on other teams at Logicworks that she really trusted and had the conversation with them first. This helped take the edge off of her first conversation with HR, and with a hiring manager about her desire to move into this other field, and get their feedback. Remember that you have to apply for the job. No one can read your mind and know that you want to make this non-traditional career move!
📨 Are you interested in joining Logicworks? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Lindsay Syhakhom
If you are interested in a career at Logicworks, you can connect with Lindsay on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Logicworks
Logicworks helps customers migrate, run, and operate mission-critical workloads on AWS and Azure with security, scalability, and efficiency baked in. Their Cloud Reliability Platform combines world-class engineering talent, policy-as-code, and integrated tooling to enable customers to confidently meet compliance regulations, security requirements, cost control, and high availability.