By: Lois M. Collins, Deseret News
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has doubled paid maternity leave at her company to 16 weeks and said dads will also get eight weeks of paid leave after the birth of a child.
According to NBC News
, that puts Yahoo in line with Google and Facebook policies when it comes to such leave. And it will likely help mitigate possible recruiting damage that may have resulted when she recently banned working from home
Before the change, moms got up to eight weeks of paid leave.
"It's a smart move," Rachel Sklar, New York-based blogger and founder of The Li.st, which looks at the status of women in new media and technology, told NBC Bay Area
. "It suggests a long-term strategy. This is a great precedent."
The leave is accompanied by $500 to help with the cost of groceries or baby items, according to CNN
Sklar told NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez and John Schuppe that companies providing perks to employees like free lunch and day care sites reap financial benefits over time because there are no distractions for workers.
"Her decision to double family leave for new parents from eight weeks to 16 weeks puts Yahoo in the same company as her Silicon Valley rivals, Google (which reportedly provides five months of paid leave to new mothers, and seven weeks to fathers) and Facebook (which told The New York Times that it gives new mothers and fathers four months of paid leave)," Fernandez and Schuppe wrote.Business Insider
noted that "Mayer has focused a lot on improving Yahoo's culture by bringing its perks up to Silicon Valley standards. Yahoo now serves free food. Employees all got new iPhones, Android phones or Windows Phones."
The new policy soothes some who expressed concern after Mayer banned telecommuting, according to the San Jose Mercury News
' Dan Nakaso.
"I was quite concerned when the initial policy around working at the office came out that they were going to take a step backward in support of women," Marilyn Nagel, CEO of Watermark, a Palo Alto-based nonprofit group that supports women in their careers and in their communities, told Nakaso.
"This current new list of programs and benefits is a step in the right direction because we know that women tend to leave their jobs if there is not flexibility or other benefits to support them. The fact that Marissa is looking at other options suggests that she has done some research and is really looking to move Yahoo forward, in contrast to that other position that took Yahoo backward a bit."
Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.