Many companies’ maternity leave policies are profoundly insufficient —but women often struggle to access this information before accepting a job offer. Fairygodboss, a new startup where women review their places of employment, offers a database that should provide future parents with the transparency denied to so many job applicants.

According to Quartz, “Fairygodboss...has a crowdsourced database of maternity leave policies for about 700 companies.” The startup was founded by Georgene Huang and Romy Newman after Huang undertook a job search while pregnant and could not “find any information about different company’s leave policies.”

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And, as Huang explains to Quartz, asking one’s interviewer is not so simple:

“It’s taboo to ask...[about maternity leave policies] in an interview process...I found that a lot of women had the same fear of being mommy-trapped if they asked about it.”

Other sources, like Working Mother magazine and Glassdoor, exist too, but Fairygodboss is the first to provide jobseekers with information about maternity leave benefits.

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Meanwhile, we are seeing promising changes here and there. Both Amazon and Netflix have revised their leave policies, with the latter “[offering] 52 weeks paid leave” (there are, however, stipulations). As Quartz notes, benefits like the ones now available at Netflix are essentially unheard of, at least in the United States. They report that American “companies with more than 50 employees are required to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, but only to those employees who have been with the company for a certain amount of time.” Even as a minimum, those “benefits” are pretty lousy.

But now Fairygodboss is here to shine a light on those employers who do not respect the need for maternity leave. Hopefully they will, too, ignite fires under the asses of many a CEO.


Contact the author at rachel.vorona.cote@jezebel.com.

Image via Shutterstock.