Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is preparing for the birth of his second child and he just announced to the world that he is proudly taking two months of paid paternity leave in order to bond with his forthcoming daughter. In his post, Mark says that he will be taking advantage of “Facebook’s option to take leave in parts,” taking a month off right when his wife Priscilla gives birth and then taking off the whole month of December.
When Max was born, I took two months of paternity leave. I will always be grateful I could spend so much time with her…
Mark is no stranger to progressive parenting tactics. He famously took off two months when his first daughter Max was born, which was considered a radical move at the time. In his post, Mark reflects on how grateful he is that he was able to spend “so much time with her in the first months of her life.” As he notes, Facebook generously offers four months of paid parental leave to its 17,000 employees.
Parental leave is still a rarity in the U.S., as the majority of companies offer no paid leave to mothers or fathers to have the chance to spend time with their kid. This makes America one of the only developed countries on earth to not offer paid leave for new parents, despite the fact that parental leave has proven to be beneficial to moms, dads, kids, and even business owners.
And thanks to outdated gender norms, many dads that do have access to parental leave don’t take advantage of it. Such announcements as Zuckerberg’s are important because they show that men should not be ashamed to take time off work to focus on being a new parent. Hopefully, paternity leave continues to become more normal in the U.S., and, eventually, reaches the point where someone like Mark Zuckerberg taking leave isn’t news at all.