Companies’ Parental Leave Policies Stigmatize Women as Less Essential

As millions of mothers and fathers juggle working from home or commuting to work while their children are remote schooling, a recent study co-authored by Gayle Kaufman, the Erwin Maddrey Professor of Sociology at Davidson College in North Carolina, finds that paid parental leave policies may contribute to gender inequality in the workplace by favoring women over men.

The authors found that 72 percent of companies offer some paid parental leave, and the majority of Fortune 500 companies have paid parental leave policies that offer substantially more leave to mothers than to fathers. The authors found that one third of the Fortune 500 companies offer twice as much leave to mothers as to fathers. “When companies have gender unequal paid parental leave policies, they are signaling that mothers are the ones who should take time off while fathers are simply helpers or secondary parents,” Dr. Kaufman said.

Dr. Kauffman holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in development sociology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She earnd a Ph.D. in sociology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

The full study, “Gendered Parental Leave Policies Among Fortune 500 Companies,” was published on the website of the journal Community, Work & Family. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply