2015: The Spark Catches Fire

Top Trends in Back-to-Work after Baby


What started for us with the mega-spark of the call to action from the White House Summit on Working families in 2014, has progressed into a wonderfully compelling and lively fire burning around issues of parental leave. This was the year that the sheer number of Millennials eclipsed Boomers at work. 2015 was also the year in which we saw key private sector leaders find new, innovative ways to support families in the American workplace.

At the It’s Working Project, we have watched (and often times, proudly played a role) as leaders committed their organizations to bringing families back to work with ease, as a matter of course, and with an authentic sense of pride.

As 2015 draws to a close, here are the top trends we’ve seen making headlines and dominating the biggest view of parental leave and back-to-work after baby.

  1. The call for cultural shifts begin to trump the randomness of the boss lottery. As a generation of Millennials become parents, more workplaces are making the move to fully integrated policies that take parental needs and benefits into serious consideration.
  2. In an effort to put an end to the silent career killer, the lethal parental-penalty, companies work to cultivate a better understanding of the need for strategies around leave and return, making an investment in on- and off-ramping a benefits priority.
  3. Tech companies make it work by making parental leave benefits a priority, garnering media attention and spurring more industries to join in, step up, and modify their existing policy and support systems.
  4. Netflix brings the concept of “unlimited” into the parental leave discussion. Marriott, Credit Suisse, Hilton, Zulily and others redefine and polish their standards and make their commitment to families clear.
  5. Paid leave becomes a top election issue. States, including New Jersey and California, see success with their family friendly workplace laws on the books.
  6. Flying nannies and express-shipped milk make it work for traveling, executive moms. Impressive, but also begs the question — what of the rest?
  7. A newfound focus on the role of men as new parents reframes the discussion from one of maternity leave to one of parental leave. The title of “primary care-giver” makes its way into our vocabulary.
  8. Adoptive families and same-sex partners gain long-overdue attention in the parental leave conversation.

In the new year, join us as we continue to play a role in the thriving back-to-work after baby conversation. If you’re a parent in the workplace, share your story. If you’re an HR leader, let us show you how to make it possible for parent employees be their best at work and at home.  And now, to 2016, onward and upward!

Posted in Uncategorized