Along with over 400 other parents on Plumfund, Amy Dean-Gerving raised money for her maternity leave for her third adopted child, sharing online that the $3,500 she received would bring “peace of mind that I can be home and help him transition into our family and not worry about how the bills are going to get paid.”
(Note: While some employers offer family leave for biological children, they often do not compensate for adoption, though time off in these cases can be crucial for bonding between new mothers and their children.)
The trend toward relying on friends, family, and the internet to make ends meet during family leave highlights the gap in what the United Nations has called a “basic human right” for women. Moreover, the gap itself reflects a lack of understanding of the long-term benefits of company-paid maternity leave.
If governments and business owners do some simple math, they’ll find that offering this benefit to more than half of the national workforce would encourage them to return to their jobs, and perform better when they do. The advantages of maternity leave are particularly clear when you consider the majority proportion of the workforce that millennial women comprise.
There’s also a competitive advantage for businesses here: Until such time as the United States as a whole mandates paid maternity leave, companies that already offer this benefit are going to have greater appeal when it comes to recruiting top talent. Some notable companies that depend on top talent to survive and thrive have figured this out. They include Amazon, Etsy, Starbucks, Ikea, Adobe, Google and Facebook.