Google Improved Maternity Leave, Post-Partum Attrition Dropped by 50%

By Alexis C. Madrigal

Google's data-driven management might just be able to find the right set of incentives and work arrangements to make careers easier on moms.

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Reuters

Amid all the handwringing about what technology companies can do to recruit and retain women in their ranks, we don't hear a lot of solutions. But here's an obvious thing that tech companies can do: increase the length of maternity leave and pay a full salary for its duration. 

It makes a huge difference in keeping female employees, we read in The Times.

Another time Google was losing women was after they had babies. The attrition rate for postpartum women was twice that for other employees. In response, Google lengthened maternity leave to five months from three and changed it from partial pay to full pay. Attrition decreased by 50 percent. 

We'll be checking up on the other big tech companies' maternity-leave policies, but let's note that this particular problem is not specific to the technology industry (though it is somewhat specific to the United States). That said, the tech industry may be more likely than most to solve it. If they choose to optimize for this particular variable, Google's data-driven management might be able to find the right set of incentives and work arrangements to make post-partum careers better.



Via Claire Diaz-Ortiz.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/08/google-improved-maternity-leave-post-partum-attrition-dropped-by-50/261624/