TOMS Founder Explains Why Dads Need Paternity Leave
In May 2015, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie made waves when he wrote about his decision to take 12 weeks of paternity leave in Glamour.
"It's an experience I wish every new dad could have, but I realize how lucky I am," he said, adding that he's used his position of power at the company to grant all new parent employees eight weeks of paid leave and flexible schedules upon return to work. "Sadly, though, we're an exception," he added. "Only 12 percent of all American workers have access to formal paid parental leave, and the vast majority of men take off less than a week when their children are born."
To help change these statistics, the "Chief Shoe Giver" is continuing the conversation about paternity leave in today's work world. This past weekend, Mycoskie spoke further about the topic during an appearance on the "Today" show.
"It really has been a really fascinating thing how passionate people are about this topic," he said, explaining that his article "spread like wildfire" and led to an "outpouring of people" commending his words and commenting that they hope their bosses and family members see the piece.
From a business perspective, Mycoskie explained that paternity leave just makes sense. "What might look like a cost on the spreadsheets, actually is an investment in higher productivity and more engagement," he said, adding that his employees have proven this. "They are that much more focused on providing value because they see what we invested in them and they want to help make TOMS successful."
Mycoskie's wife expressed her support for paid leave in the segment as well. Drawing from her experience after their son Summit's birth, she said, "I think paternity leave is so important for a family because the opportunity we have for Blake to stay home for the time that we was with us and Summit's first days of life, we will never be able to get that back."
Here's hoping that more business leaders follow in Blake Mycoskie's footsteps when it comes to parental leave.