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Brief Published: 8 Jun 2017

Ad Firm’s Maternity Leave Makeover

Launched to coincide with Mother's Day in May, ad firm Mother New York's The Pregnancy Pause campaign aims to redefine maternity leave. The project highlights the stigma attached to "gaps" in resumes caused by many new mothers leaving their jobs because of inadequate maternity-leave policies.

"We wanted to give working mothers in the US a simple tool, and make it easier for them to own maternity leave as the full-time job it truly is," said Mother New York's chief creative officer Corinna Falusi. To that end, mothers can now update their LinkedIn profiles to say they work for The Pregnancy Pause during maternity leave, and even use the virtual company as a reference on their resumes – a real phone number is provided for prospective employers to call.

The issue of maternity and paternity leave is becoming more pronounced as millennials enter the workforce and expect flexibility – willing to take, on average, a $7,600 pay cut for improved work-life balance (Fidelity, 2016).

Brands are increasingly tapping into this trend. Alaska Air has just enabled elite members of its frequent flyers Mileage Plan to extend their membership to cover parental leave. "This is just one less thing for new parents to worry about," said Natalie Bowman, managing director of brand marketing. Meanwhile, British beer brand BrewDog has introduced Puppy Parental Leave – offering all employees with new dogs a week off to look after them.

See Brands Take a Stand for more on changing bad narratives.