Aren’t you tired of having the same conversation over and over? I am. I’m tired of the fact that maternity leave and decent benefits in the United States are hard to come by for families. There’s one company, however, that gets us. They actually want their employees to do well. That company is Patagonia. Over the last five years, they’ve retained as employees 100% of women who’ve had children. That’s a big freaking deal.
Quartz pointed out in an article that this statistic is incredibly rare–and not something to belittle. I don’t have to tell you that childcare is so expensive; many moms end up staying at home, because it’s not worth working just to pay for someone else to watch your tiny human. In the United States, only 79% of women going back to their jobs after having a baby.
Patagonia, a company that sells outdoor gear, has clearly succeeded at its 32-year experiment of providing major benefits for their employees who have kids. First of all, they provide 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave for birth mothers with fathers and adoptive mothers getting 12 weeks. This benefit is given after nine months of employment. That’s pretty awesome.
That’s not all though. They also have on-site childcare run by teachers; parents can eat lunch with their kids in the middle of the work day, and if that doesn’t excite you, the company also provides busing for school-aged kids to bring them to the company’s headquarters to see their parents after school. Mothers can also breastfeed their babies in the office, which is so refreshing. If an employee has to travel for work, and wants to bring their kid, they can on the company’s dime.
Keep in mind that the childcare isn’t free to parents, but the company recoups 91% of the cost–which is still not bad. So, the real question is not how Patagonia is doing this, but why more companies aren’t. There’s really no reason that we, as a society, keep perpetuating antiquated ideas–and making keep making excuses for why companies treat their employees badly.
Watch Quartz’s video on the company below: