Extended Parental Leave Irks Co-workers
September 12, 2005--Executive moms and dads risk workplace resentment for taking time off to raise their kids, a recent survey showed.
Asked to describe their feelings about top-level employees returning to work after an extended parental leave, almost half of over 1,000 executives polled said they were "resented for taking time off," according to a survey conducted this summer by The Ladders.com, a website for workers earning annual salaries of $100,000 or more.
Worse still, about a quarter felt that those who took a multi-year hiatus were "too far removed from the action to be effective."
As a result, most were likely to keep one foot in the workplace while raising their kids. When asked what they would do if they had children and money was no object, a full 53% said they would stay on the job with a reduced workload. Another 9% said they would continue working full-time. By contrast, 39% said they would be stay-at-home parents.
About the same number said executives returning from maternity or paternity leave are "valued for their renewed perspective."
According to the survey, conducted between July and August this year, the average maternity leave in today's workplace was nine weeks. Of those polled, 44% said they received six weeks leave, while 27% got 12 weeks, and 17% got eight weeks. Only 6% received 16 weeks or more.
The key to a smooth transition back into the office, said TheLadders.com CEO Marc Cenedella, is "not to get too far removed." While on leave, he said, workers should stay engaged by "sending e-mail, meeting with colleagues and reading the trade publications."