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Twitter's new CEO is taking 'a few weeks' of parental leave and should feel free to take even more

Twitter's new CEO is taking 'a few weeks' of parental leave and should feel free to take even more

Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal plans to take "a few weeks" of paternity leave for the birth of his second child, the company confirmed on Wednesday. First reported by The Washington Post, Agarwal announced he was taking leave at a company all-hands meeting last week, though apparently it would take less than the full 20 weeks provided by Twitter.

"At Twitter, we encourage and fully support employees taking parental leave," Twitter's head of corporate communications, Laura Yagerman, said in a statement emailed to The Verge. "It's a personal decision, and we've created a parental leave program (supporting up to 20 weeks of flexible leave) that's customizable for that reason." He added that Agarwal, who is the executive sponsor of Twitter's internal native community, plans to "stay engaged" with the company's executive team during his vacation.

Agarwal has been at the top post on Twitter since November, when co-founder Jack Dorsey resigned. The Post reports that he has not named an interim CEO to handle the day-to-day while he is out.

While many (but not all) private companies offer at least some paid leave for new parents, and many states have paid parental leave policies, the United States remains the largest country in the world. Has happened. Which does not have a national paid parental leave policy. According to the most recent data from the World Policy Analysis Center, the average paid maternity leave worldwide is 29 weeks, and the average paid paternity leave is 16 weeks.

In tech companies, many high-profile founders and CEOs have made it a point to take the parental leave provided by their companies. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook's parent company Meta, took two months of paternity leave after the birth of his daughters in 2015 and 2017. And Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian took 16 weeks of paternity leave in 2017 when his wife, tennis star Serena Williams, gave birth to a daughter. He spoke out in a New York Times op-ed against the stigma attached to men taking full paternity leave: "...Dad, let me be your air cover. I took my full 16 weeks and I'm still ambitious and want to." I'm on my own." I care about my career. Talk to your officers and tell them I sent you."

Research shows that a national paid leave policy in the US would have plenty of benefits for children and families, but the amount of leave fathers really deserve can still raise eyebrows and snarky comments. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg took paternity leave when she and her husband, Chastain, welcomed their newborn twins last year and were speculated to have done so. Just to confirm: even though it's called a "vacation," taking care of young children is a lot of work, whether you have given birth to young children or not.

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