Mark Zuckerberg is taking parental leave for the month of December, the Facebook CEO announced Saturday, The Guardian reports. Zuckerberg previously took a month-long leave immediately after the August 2017 birth of his second daughter, August.
“I’m going to take advantage of Facebook’s option to take leave in parts,” the CEO said at the time. “At Facebook, we offer four months of maternity and paternity leave because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it’s good for the entire family.”
Zuckerberg, 33, also took a two-month parental leave following the birth of his first daughter, Max, in 2015. At the time, the Facebook founder was widely lauded for helping to remove the stigma from paternity leave.
The United States stands alone among developed countries in failing to require any paid leave for new parents. The lack of a federal mandate has left parental leave up to the states, municipalities and individual employers.
Wealthy technology firms like Facebook, Google and Apple have prioritized policies for parents – including generous leave, on-site childcare, “baby cash” and plush lactation rooms – amid heated competition for the best talent. But lower-wage workers often face difficult choices to support their families: a quarter of new mothers in the US return to work within two weeks of giving birth.
In 2016, San Francisco became the first US city to mandate fully paid parental leave. Many feminists urge the more widespread adoption of paternity leave to promote greater gender equality in the workplace and domestic sphere.
When Zuckerberg returned to work after August’s birth on 21 September, he revealed that his leave had not been solely preoccupied with diapers and bottles.
“While I was out on leave, I spent a lot of time with our teams on the question of Russian interference in the US elections,” he wrote in a Facebook post upon his return.