Amazon | Work That Works For Mothers

I hesitate to bring up another big tech company instituting game-changing family leave policies that can't be replicated by smaller organizations.  But for Amazon, it's less about the actuals for the policy and more about how it was achieved.  Though the policy is worth noting - 20 weeks paid leave for mothers and 6 weeks for fathers with a built-in ramp-up time to allow flexible work weeks or days for women returning to the workplace. 

According to Slate, to get there, a group of women congregated in the basement of one of their homes and hatched a reasonable wishlist and plan based on needs and wants from peers which they presented to the Head of HR who then helped pull in resources to create a rollout plan with the complete financials - as in the impact to the bottom line.  The team collectively presented it to Jeff Bezos who signed off on it right away. 

Realistically, this type of rapid change relies on a cast of valuable players.  There were the women who wanted to stay at Amazon and grow their families and make it work for them.  There was an empowered Human Resources team who were invested in keeping them.  And there was an open-minded CEO who cared about retaining talent.  

If we were to take a lesson from this playbook, it would be that for the team at Amazon this wasn't an emotional and gendered conversation about flexible work, it was a conversation about retaining talent and the health of their company.  To read the full policy and philosophy pop over to Slate.

Have you ever attempted to drive a benefits change - family leave or not - in a company? What was your experience?  Would you be more likely to negotiate individually or drive group policy change? xo

Featured Image via Madewell