Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal plans to take “a few weeks” of paternity leave before the birth of his second child, the company confirmed on Wednesday. First reported by The Washington Post† Agrawal announced last week that he would be taking his leave at a company meeting, although he will apparently be taking less than the full 20 weeks that Twitter is offering.
“At Twitter, we encourage employees to take parental leave and fully support them in a way that is best for everyone,” said Laura Yagerman, Twitter’s head of corporate communications, in an emailed statement. The edge† “It’s a personal decision and we’ve created a parental leave program (supporting up to 20 weeks of flexible leave) that can be customized for that reason.” She added that Agrawal, who is the executive sponsor of Twitter’s internal parent community, plans to “connect” with the company’s executive team during his leave.
Agrawal has been at the top of Twitter since November when co-founder Jack Dorsey resigned. The After reports that he has not appointed an interim CEO to run day-to-day business while he is gone.
While many (but not all) private companies offer at least some paid leave for new parents, and several states have paid parental leave policies, the United States remains the largest country in the world to not have a national policy on paid parental leave. According to the most recent data from the World Policy Analysis Center, the average paid maternity leave around the world is 29 weeks and the average paid paternity leave is 16 weeks.
Among tech companies, several high-profile founders and CEOs have made it a point to take up the paternal leave their companies offer. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook 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 their daughter. He spoke out against the stigma attached to men who take their full paternity leave in a… New York Times op-ed: “…fathers, let me be your sky cover. I’ve taken my full 16 weeks and I’m still ambitious and care about my career. Talk to your bosses and say I sent you.’
Research shows that a national policy on paid leave in the US would have a plethora of benefits for children and families, but dads who actually take the time off they’re entitled to can still raise eyebrows and snide comments. US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg took paternity leave when he and his husband, Chasten, welcomed their newborn twins last year and were attacked for it. Just to confirm, even though it’s called ‘abandoning’, taking care of small babies is a lot of work, whether or not you’ve given birth to the tiny babies in question.