If you’ve enjoyed reading my blogs over the past months or years you might have noticed its been a quiet few weeks from BreakingVC.
There’s a good reason: five weeks ago I was blessed with the birth of my second son. Combining 2.8 years of combustible energy with .08 years of fragility has taken a toll professionally. Though I’m finally coming out of the woods, I owe an apology to the dozens, if not hundreds of people, who have had to put up with slow response times, if not extended silence from me. It’s not how I like to do business, but I am proud that I was able to fully dedicate myself to my wife and growing family.
I don’t think my family could have survived at any level of sanity without the paternity leave graciously provided to me by my teammates: Stuart, Kevin, Jason, Lindsay and Peter. I have a number of friends currently expecting child #2 (or beyond), several of whom have no paternity policy or whose partners have no maternity policy – or at best, an unpaid leave. I can’t understand that. At all. My friends are scared. Their wives are scared. A month later, my wife is still recovering physically and needs a lot of support. Emotionally, I was once advised that the first three months are considered a fourth trimester – meaning lots of growth, unknowns and volatility. To put employees in a position that causes undue strain on their marriages and other children makes no sense to me. It’s illogical to assume they will perform better at work. On the contrary, rather than a few weeks of absence, an enterprise might earn themselves a full year of underperformance. Here is the White House’s report on the topic.
According to the Center for American Progress, the USA is the 10th worst country in the world for maternity leave. And dads aren’t far behind. I’m not so good with being a “causes” evangelist…probably because I find that most of them I can’t authentically lend my voice to – or if I have to be honest, because I’m a bit scared of being flamed by those with opposing views. But supportive maternity & paternity policies are ones that I feel I have a deep obligation to. If companies do the right thing, employees have every incentive to remain loyal. Because of that, I’m committed to fostering and cultivating a strong parental culture at all the companies I invest in.
Expect the startup/VC focused blog to come back starting next week. For now, I’ll leave you with the ACAP’s infographic via The Huffington Post –