Google employees will have an additional three months at home with their newborns to work remotely once their family leave policy ends, Google CEO Sundar Pichai shared on Thursday during a panel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's CEO Summit of the Americas. The policy, which Pichai says was announced last week, aims to make the transition for so-called Googlers more flexible, giving them about nine months to adjust to life with a newborn before they head back into the office.
"The reason we are doing that is because we fundamentally understand how important it is for us to have a diverse workforce, the perspectives women bring, and [how they] make the company a better place," Pichai said during a panel about expanding economic opportunity.
It's a policy he hopes will catch on. "I think we all need to think about it deeply and do more," Pichai added.
While the benefit is table stakes for plenty of the best workplaces today, it's a distant goal for many, and that should give businesses pause--particularly firms interested in nurturing a diversity of thoughts and opinions. The United States is among a handful of countries that does not currently offer a national program for paid parental leave.
The pandemic also presented new problems to women in the workforce, particularly with child care, causing women to exit the workforce in droves as schools and day care facilities closed down. Nearly two million women left the workforce during the pandemic, according to February data from the National Women's Law Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit advocating for women's rights. That said, women are starting to make a comeback in the workforce--women scooped up 63 percent of the jobs added to the economy this past March, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Paid parental leave has increasingly been sought out--it's shown to draw top talent since it provides more flexibility for working women. If you're looking to attract more women to your workplace, taking another look at your parental leave policy may be a good place to start.