Our Story: Celebrating 1 Year of the Pledge Parental Leave at 10,000ft

12 months ago, we had two team members fresh from maternity leave. This year, we have two starting paternity leave.

Pledge Parental Leave logo and icon

We first heard about the Pledge Parental Leave (PPL) through New York-based digital studio ustwo.

It came around a time when tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Netflix were making unprecedented moves to show how much they valued and supported employees and their families. We were more than happy to join a community of progressive companies - including IDEO, Doberman, and frog - who were committed to providing quality parental leave benefits for their staff and making their organizations among the best places to work in the world. The pledge added fuel to the broader discussion and made its way into publications like FastCo, Forbes, and Adweek.

If your company is interested in joining, you can learn more on the PPL site. Being part of the pledge means a minimum commitment to:

  • 3 months 100% paid leave for the primary caregiver
  • 3 months uninterrupted medical insurance
  • 6 months job security
  • Openly publishing the policy on your website

Since we joined the pledge, we've had quite the exciting year at 10,000ft!

12 months ago, we had two team members fresh from maternity leave, and this year we have one who's a few weeks into paternity leave and another who will be starting his leave imminently. To celebrate PPL's one-year anniversary, we asked some of our 10,000ft team to share their thoughts on our ongoing commitment to support them both at work and at home.

Anne Prins, Director of Growth

While trying, those first few months with a new baby are also tremendously blissful.

During my maternity leave, I had the chance to recover, bond with my son, and get into our new routines without worrying about my job, healthcare coverage, or impact the time off would have on my career.

Paid parental leave gives employees confidence that they can juggle their jobs AND the new responsibilities of parenting. For women, this confidence is especially important to prevent us from leaving the workforce. I want to grow my career at 10,000ft long term. These types of policies create an environment where I can dig in and really invest myself in the company as an employee. It's a win-win for everyone.

Anne hiking with her kids

Nick Cox, Software Engineer

When we had our first son, Simon (now 2), I was at another job. I had to fight to negotiate for a week off, and I took another four days of vacation to spend time with him. He was born on a Tuesday, and under two weeks later, I went back to work.

It was so difficult to have to miss so many of those crucial bonding moments in the first few months. Simon also wasn’t eating enough during that time and there were several doctor’s appointments involved to help him maintain weight, but I was only able to attend a few of them with my work schedule.

My first day on the job at 10,000ft a year ago, I had several introductory emails - many about account setup for the various tools we use. But one that stood out was the announcement of this new parental leave policy. I was stunned, since my wife Michaela and I had been talking about having another child. Simply put, this new policy was a game changer for my family.

With such a generous parental leave at 10,000ft, I’ll be able to help both my wife and son adjust to the transition of caring for a newborn, while still managing to keep Simon healthy and happy. The first few months are such a difficult adjustment period, and I’m really grateful to be able to help Michaela make a smooth transition from working part-time and caring for a toddler to becoming a full-time mother of two.

And when I return to work, I’ll be able to focus on my job responsibilities without worrying about how Michaela is going to cope with the realities of caring for both a newborn and a two-year-old.

10,000ft ft parents with their kid

Arathi Ramani, Principal Software Engineer

I had just joined 10,000ft when I found out I was expecting a baby. We were thrilled and excited about our upcoming baby and I loved my new job, but I also felt bad joining a small company and then needing to take time off within my first year.

When I told my colleagues, they were all so supportive and happy for me. It was wonderful. I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of parental leave - with me being so new and the size of our company - and I would have been happy with unpaid time off. Finding out that I would have paid maternity leave with benefits was a huge value to our family, both financially and because it made me feel secure and valued in my job at 10,000ft.

Being able to spend time with my baby without worrying about finances or job security helped me be a better parent. It also made me more excited to return to work when the time came! I'm proud to be part of an organization that recognizes how important this is.

Arathi family photo

Olen Ronning, Director of Design

With two kids, I've experienced what a valuable and wonderful experience it is to have time dedicated to being at home and bonding as a family with a new baby.

Now that our boys are 5 and 2, I'm immensely appreciative of the flexibility and respect we have at 10,000ft to make time for our family and children. As our children get older, the experiences and commitments change - where early on sleep was the more immediate scarce resource, now time is the scarcity.

Being able to work remotely from home or shift hours in the day allows me to adapt to changing needs and schedules. I can do important things like occasionally go to preschool with Andreas or be home with Mekael while my wife takes our other son to the doctor or dentist.

This flexibility allows me to better support my wife and, ultimately, be the dad I want to be to our boys.

Ready to make the pledge? Visit the PPL website to get started.

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