New Twitter CEO taking ‘a few weeks’ of paternity leave

Ellian Raffoul courtesy of Twitter via AP

Twitter’s new CEO is preparing to take “a few weeks” of paternity leave, the company confirmed to The Washington Post.

Parag Agrawal, 37, who took over as Twitter CEO less than three months ago, announced his plans to take parental leave during a meeting with Twitter employees last week, the Post reported.

He intends to stay in touch with his executive team while on leave and has not named an interim CEO, according to the newspaper.

“At Twitter, we encourage and fully support employees taking parental leave in whatever way works best for each person,” Laura Yagerman, Twitter’s head of corporate communications, said in a statement obtained by the Post. “It’s a personal decision, and we created a parental leave program (supporting up to 20 weeks of flexible leave) that is customizable for that reason.”

For Agrawal, the head of a major tech company, to take leave to be with his family sets a good example, said Joelle Emerson, the co-founder and CEO of Paradigm, according to the Post.

“I think men and leaders in particular modeling this behavior sets a tone that can empower people of all genders taking leave, as long as their jobs support that,” Emerson told the newspaper.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 23 percent of civilian workers in the U.S. had access to paid family leave in March 2021. Those numbers were even lower in the transportation and service sectors.

A stigma can also be attached to paternity leave in particular. Last year, for instance, Fox News host Tucker Carlson criticized Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for taking leave after becoming a father to adopted twins.

The U.S. currently has no national paid family leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act provides only certain employees with unpaid leave for 12 weeks per year. Democrats were working to advance a proposal for a federal paid family and medical leave program last year as part of their $2 trillion social spending package, but the efforts faced opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and the package has stalled in the Senate.

Tags Joe Manchin Parag Agrawal Paternity leave Pete Buttigieg Tucker Carlson Twitter

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