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IBM ranked as one of the best companies for women in 2017, and employees have no shortage of reasons to praise their workplace. Those who have evaluated their work experience on Fairygodboss describe IBM as an “inclusive place to work” with “many benefits and flexibility.”
Now, for the second time in two years, employees are celebrating a new perk that changes the game for parents. In 2015, IBM increased its maternity leave from eight paid weeks to 14 and upped its paternity leave from five days to six weeks. And on Wednesday (Oct. 25), IBM enhanced its existing parental leave program so that birth mothers now get 20 paid weeks of maternity leave, and fathers, partners, and adoptive parents get 12 paid weeks off — doubling the amount they were previously offered.
In addition, IBM announced a new policy that will reimburse employees up to $20,000 for surrogacy and adoption expenses (previously, workers were eligible for $5,000 for adoption-related expenses only).
Barbara Brickmeier, IBM’s vice president of benefits, told Fortune that the new policy will apply to workers even when their surrogacy or adoption efforts don’t pan out; this enables employees to explore their options for parenthood with significantly less concern over the associated costs. Brickmeier said the this new benefit was implemented in part because employees had requested it and that it reflects IBM’s overall culture of flexibility, which is based upon the fact that “no one size fits all.”
Moreover, all IBM employees in the U.S. — both full-time and part-time workers — are eligible for the new parental leave benefits.
IBM’s announcement is particularly notable since most American parents get little to no paid time off when they have a child. In fact, in 2016, just 14 percent of private sector workers in the U.S. said they were getting paid family leave through their job — a grim reality that’s poignantly laid out in a new documentary titled “Zero Weeks.”
So perhaps it’s no surprise that Fairygodboss users who work at IBM have reported such positive experiences. “My role allows me to be completely flexible. I typically do the school run and can work from home if my children are sick or in the school holidays,” one mom writes.
Another employee says, “IBM affords me the opportunity to truly leverage work life integration. I am able to work on large complex projects while also balancing the needs of my family.”
If you’re getting jealous, we hear you — and we have some good news. IBM is hiring a ton right now, so check out their open positions today!
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