Facebook Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday he will take two months of paternity leave after his daughter's birth, a strong statement from one of the busiest and most powerful U.S. executives on the importance of family time.
Silicon Valley technology firms have rushed to extend parental leave allowances and other benefits in an attempt to recruit and retain talent, but many workers do not take advantage for fear of falling behind at work or missing out on promotions.
Facebook, the world's biggest online social network, allows its U.S. employees to take up to four months of paid maternity or paternity leave, which can be used all at once or throughout the first year of their child's life, a policy which is generous by U.S. standards. Zuckerberg announced in July that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were expecting a baby girl.
A 2015 study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 21 percent of employers it surveyed offered paid maternity leave, and 17 percent provided paid paternity leave.
"This is a very personal decision," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page, along with a picture of a stroller, a yellow baby carrier and his dog, Beast. "Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families."