Amex is upping its paternal leave policy in a big way. The credit card company will now offer 20 weeks of paid leave to men and women bringing a new child into their family through surrogacy, adoption, or birth, according to Bloomberg. Birth mothers will get another 6-8 weeks off.
In general, more companies are building and extending parental leave. The Society for Human Resources Management reports that roughly 21% of big U.S. companies offered some kind of paternity program in 2015, versus 12% in 2014. What this says (to me anyway) is that we can no longer afford to keep highly educated women out of the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted the number of job openings in finance, information, health care, social services, and government outpaced hiring in 2014.
In order to fill those vacancies, companies need to start catering to the needs of families. This is not a decision about where corporate morals lie. This is about ensuring a competent workforce in a over-extended labor market. As the need for employees grows, so too will policies that enable people typically left out of the workforce to maintain jobs.