Gabe Teperow recently shared this incredible story about the birth of his daughter after just starting a job at HubSpot:
When I started at HubSpot a year ago, I was excited to get a few months under my belt to establish myself as a new manager before going on parental leave. I appreciated HubSpot’s generous parental leave policy- a month paid with the option of an additional month of unpaid.
Our daughter was born 9 weeks premature. It was completely unexpected; she was admitted to the NICU where she stayed for the first 5 weeks of her life. Suddenly all of these things that we thought we would have time to do like close on our new house and establish myself in my new job all had to happen quickly and without the luxury of planning or time.
I was only a couple months into my job, and I suddenly needed to rely on my team and my co-workers – people who barely knew me. I was overwhelmed by the support. The thing about working at a company like HubSpot is that policies such as parental leave are more than just protocol – it’s a company culture that truly cares. I was able to split up my leave- one week following the birth and the other three weeks when my daughter came home. My team and my manager stepped up in countless ways and allowed me to be there for my family, for which I am forever grateful.
How has your company’s culture, and/or the people impacted you personally?
I’m sorry to say that there are probably many of you reading this who likely had very different experiences. I know some organizations are brutal when it comes to parental leave after the birth of a child. However, I do think it’s getting better.
The challenge with policies around childbirth is that it’s often as much about cultural pressure as it is legal pressure. Legally you might be allowed to take the leave, but culturally you often feel a lot of pressure to “not let the team down” or some other type of cultural pressure from the company, your boss, your peers, or all three.
No doubt things like family leave can be a challenge for a company. Especially a small company. However, doing the right thing that helps someone better take care of their family creates an incredible relationship with that person that’s far more valuable than the time they’re away from the office taking care of their family. Plus, the reality is that if their family needs them, they’re likely not going to be as focused at work anyway.
What’s been your experience with family leave? What are the good and bad experiences you’ve had with your employers?