After fiancée Serena Williams gives birth, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian plans on starting life as a dad with six weeks of paternity leave.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: The benefits of a new dad taking paternity leave are significant—and under recognized. And while plenty of new fathers head back to work within mere days of welcoming their babies, Alexis Ohanian vows to do things a bit differently.
The Reddit co-founder, who is expecting his first child with fiancée Serena Williams, talked about how he's preparing for dad life during a recent interview. The father-to-be touched on a few baby-related topics—including how great of a mom Serena will be—but we were struck by Alexis' plans for early fatherhood.
"At Reddit, it's really important for us to support men and women when they are welcoming a new member to the family and so we have a pretty generous parental leave policy. I’ll be taking off for six weeks myself and trying to do my best—the best job possible as a new dad, first time dad, and it's something that ... our whole people and culture team has really prioritized,” Alexis said during an appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box.
The sad reality is that taking time away from work is harder for some—and the fact that Alexis has the power to create a family-friendly work culture obviously puts him at an advantage where this is concerned. But at the same time, running a massive tech juggernaut is an incredibly demanding job by any measure—and if Alexis can step off the grid for six weeks, shouldn't the rest of us be able to as well?
Parental leave policies are not where they should be in the United States: While new parents are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, there's no legally mandated paid time off for new mothers or fathers. And really, how many people can afford to take 12 weeks without pay?
The good news? Slowly but surely, companies are rolling out family-friendly policies of their own accord. While we don't know how long it'll take, we do know that dads deserve more time to bond with their babies and get their own handles on parenting, just like moms. We can only hope this becomes a reality for all parents sooner rather than later.