TECH

Yahoo Doubles Paid Maternity And Paternity Leave To Draw Talent, Not To Make Amends

Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer of Yahoo! Inc., pauses in the Congress Center on day three of the World Economic Forum
Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer of Yahoo! Inc., pauses in the Congress Center on day three of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 43rd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the five day event runs from Jan. 23-27. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

They can't work from home, but Yahoo workers can stay home for longer after they have babies.

Yahoo just announced that it is doubling the amount of paid maternity and paternity leave the tech company offers new parents. New mothers now can take 16 weeks of paid leave, up from eight. Fathers can take eight weeks. And all new parents get an extra $500, NBC Bay area reports.

The announcement comes just two months after CEO Marissa Mayer banned employees from working from home, angering many working parents.

It's tempting to see the move coming from Mayer, herself a new mother, as an empathetic gesture from someone who's been there. However, the decision to increase paid leave looks like Yahoo's latest attempt to lure talent by offering benefits in line with other Silicon Valley powerhouses.

Google gives new mothers five months of paid leave and fathers seven weeks. Facebook gives new parents four months off. Yahoo also started giving employees free meals and new phones since Mayer took the reins.

Mayer herself only took a few weeks off when she gave birth in 2012. And memorably remarked that "The baby's been way easier than everyone made it out to be," essentially angering just about anyone who's ever had a baby.

The 37-year-old CEO likely also didn't go through the same kind of agony a first-time mother often faces when returning to the office: She had a nursery built in her office.

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BEFORE YOU GO

  • 1 Advice To Job Hunting Women
    "Find something you're passionate about and just love. Passion is really gender-neutralizing," Marissa Mayer said on Martha Stewart's "Women with Vision" television series in 2011.
  • 2 The Pie 'Isn't Big Enough'
    "Right now is a great time to be a woman in tech, but there's not enough women in tech," Mayer told a CES2012 panel hosted by CNET. "[I] worry a lot of times the conversation gets really focused on what percentage of the pie is women. And the truth is, the pie isn't big enough. We're not producing enough computer scientist. We're not producing enough product designers. We need a lot more people to keep up with all of these gadgets, all of this technology, all these possibilities." Mayer also commented on the stereotypical culture within the tech world: "There's all kinds of different women who do this. You can wear ruffles, you can be a jock, and you still be a great computer scientist or a great technologist, or a great product designer."
  • 3 Tangible Technology
    "There's just huge growth and opportunity. [T]he fact that the technology is now so tangible in our everyday lives, I think, will inspire a lot more women to go into technology -- and I'm really heartened by that," Mayer said for the MAKERS "Women in Tech" interview series in 2012.
  • 4 Internet Empowered
    "I consider myself incredibly lucky to be present in a moment in time when this wonderful and powerful medium, the internet, is empowering geeks -- and especially female geeks -- to express and pursue their passions," Meyer said in a 2012 acceptance speech at the Celebrating Change gala. She had just won the International Museum of Women's first-ever Innovator Award.
  • 5 Geekin' Out
    "People ask me all the time, 'What is it like to be a woman at Google?' I'm not a women at Google; I'm a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great," she said in an interview for CNN's "Leading Women" series in 2012.
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