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Paternity leave goes mainstream; Fatherly ranks 50 best companies for new dads

At these companies, ample parental leave for new dads is just part of doing business.
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

Two years ago, Mark Zuckerberg surprised some when he took two months of paternity leave following the birth of his daughter Max. In his announcement — on Facebook, of course — the CEO wrote: “Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families.” His feelings about paternity leave aren't just personal; Facebook offers 17 weeks of paid leave to all new dads.

While tech companies have long been at the forefront when it comes to paid paternity leave, a new report by Fatherly, the “50 Best Places to Work for New Dads,” shows that more companies are offering paternity leave and giving fathers more time off.

“In 2015, when we looked at it the average amount of weeks of paid paternity leave was four weeks. Last year it was seven and a half weeks,” Simon Isaacs, co-founder and chief content officer of Fatherly, told TODAY Parents. “This year, we added another three and a half weeks, and the average leave is 11 weeks within the 50 best companies. It’s really exciting.”

RELATED: Mark Zuckerberg says he'll take 2 months' paternity leave after daughter's birth

For the second year in a row, Netflix is the best company for paternity leave, offering employees 52 weeks of paid time off. Etsy ranked as the second-best company for paternity leave by offering 26 weeks of time off to all employees, which they can use over the two years following the birth or adoption of a child. American Express, the third best company for parental leave, offers 20 weeks.

In addition to looking at paid paternity leave, the report also considers whether companies offer other perks, such as flex time, on-site or subsidized daycare, and fatherhood groups, which help dads transition back to work.

With the help of Stew Friedman, director of Wharton Work/Life Integration Project, Scott Behson, professor at Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and PL+US: Paid Leave for the United States, Fatherly examined companies with at least 1,000 employees that offer a minimum of four weeks of paternity leave.

Isaacs says tech and finance companies offer such great parental leave options because they are competing for millennial employees.

“This is an audience of workers who believe in co-parenting and sharing responsibilities,” he said. “These are companies that are run by parents … and truly understand what it is like to be a working parent.”

Another trend that emerged from Fatherly's research is that companies such as Starbucks and Amazon are offering paternity leave to all their employees, not simply those working in corporate offices.

“These companies demonstrate to everyone (parental) leave isn’t just a white-collar need. Many of the parents at the lower end of the pay scale need this the most, and they rarely get it,” Isaacs said.

RELATED: Why this CEO believes paid paternity leave is good for business

Fatherly's "50 Best Places to Work for New Dads" are:

  1. Netflix
  2. Etsy
  3. American Express
  4. Spotify
  5. Facebook
  6. Twitter
  7. VMware, Inc.
  8. Bank of America
  9. Patagonia
  10. Deloitte
  11. Square
  12. Pintrest
  13. Discovery Communications, Inc.
  14. CA Technologies
  15. NVIDIA Corp.
  16. Workday
  17. Microsoft
  18. Starbucks
  19. Airbnb
  20. Capital One
  21. Johnson & Johnson
  22. Genentech
  23. BASF Corporation
  24. Mastercard
  25. Intuit
  26. State Street Corporation
  27. Zillow Group
  28. 3M
  29. Citi
  30. Intel
  31. PayPal
  32. Google
  33. Bain & Company
  34. Amazon
  35. PwC
  36. Yahoo!
  37. LinkedIn
  38. Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
  39. Red Hat
  40. IBM
  41. Vanguard
  42. Roche Diagnostics
  43. Yelp
  44. Apple
  45. Ikea
  46. Chobani
  47. Zappos
  48. Oppenheimer Funds
  49. Adobe Systems
  50. Fannie Mae