TIAA recently announced an expanded gender-neutral parental leave policy. Effective January 1, 2018, all full and part-time employees now have access to 16 weeks of fully paid leave from work to be with their child after birth, adoption, or after a child is placed with them for foster care. Equal parental leave is offered to all new parents—regardless of the new parent’s gender, whether the new parent physically gives birth to the baby, or whether the new parent will be a “primary” or “secondary” caregiver. “Providing equal parental leave benefits to all of our employees is a foundational component of creating a truly inclusive workplace,” said Bob Weinman, Head of Benefits at TIAA. “Through a gender neutral policy, we’re illustrating our commitment to being an employer of choice while continuing to raise the bar for our industry. By enhancing policies that put men and women on equal footing in caregiving responsibilities, we’re showing our employees and customers that gender equality is a top priority for TIAA,” he continued. Some national statistics on parental leave:

• According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average maternity leave taken by most women in the U.S. was 10.3 weeks.
• According to the 2016 SHRM Benefits Survey, there has been a four-percentage point increase in employers offering paid paternity leave (17 percent in 2015 compared to 21 percent in 2016).
• According to WorldatWork 2016’s survey, of the organizations that provide parental leave, 21 percent cite the amount of leave given depends on whether the employee is the primary or secondary caregiver.
• 60 percent of families with children have two working parents (approximately 30 percent higher than 1975).