Deciding whether or not to have a child is a complicated decision on its own. But aligning that timing with your career? An entirely different conversation – one that’s often complicated for most (potential) parents-to-be. 

And just to be clear – we’re not here to tell you if, or when, or how, to make that decision. Heck, it’s one of the most personal decisions you’ll likely make in your lifetime. We’re here to help you navigate the workplace and be proactive about how you approach planning. 

Here at Scouted, we partner with incredible companies that offer progressive benefits to parents, so we’ve compiled a list of top benefits, considerations, and conversations you should be prepared to contemplate as you adapt and adjust your family planning around your advancing career. 

Look for companies with ample paid leave 

Not all industries offer ample leave, but you should note the industries (and companies) that prioritize paid family leave. For example, in tech, offering 4 months or more is the new norm. You should also look into who the policy applies to: Are you adopting? Do you have a surrogate? Is your partner the one physically having the child? Check in with your HR Manager or Head of People to make sure you fully understand the paid leave policy. 

Check out state and city mandates

And on that note – make sure to check out your state’s legislated policies surrounding paid leave. Did you know that NYC recently passed a law that requires all employers to give parents 12 weeks of leave at (a minimum of) 50% of their salary? NYC employers and healthcare providers also now have guidelines for covering Egg Freezing, IVF, and similar procedures. 

If you’re thinking about a change of career or if you are deciding on where to settle down, picking a state that prioritizes paid family leave can make a world of difference when you do decide to have a child. 

Talk to your exec/HR team about family planning benefits 

Thanks to the influx of women in the VC space, we’re seeing an uptick of women-forward healthcare startups like Maven and KindBody. Companies of all sizes have the ability to control what benefits they offer their employees. Encourage your employer to consider thinking outside the box when it comes to healthcare perks. 

Look for flexible WFH or remote work policies 

Not every company will have the capacity to give an employee 20+ weeks off, but a company can incorporate flexible work-from-home (WFH) or remote work policies. If you work on a small team or a with a company with limited budget (and staff power), talk to your team about what it might look like if you were to return (at first) while working remote. 

Ditch the fear that you must choose family or career/that your career can’t have a pause

It’s 2020! Times are changing for the better. Driven women (and men) shouldn’t feel as though they have to choose between starting a family and advancing in their careers. 

This starts with an open and communicative workspace/relationship with your executive team. Start the conversation early: establish what you want your time off and return to work to look like, and be steadfast with leadership that you expect to return after your time off. 

And with that comes the responsibility of building a team that can (and will) function while you are out. Hire and mentor the right talent from day one. 

And actually plan to take the time off

Men/Non-carrying parents often won’t use all of their time off! In fact, according to this study, seventy percent of fathers take ten days of leave or less! This sets a complicated precedent in the workplace, one that makes it more difficult for women to take their full leave. 

And be prepared to have the conversation with your partner: Not who is taking time off, but when? Keep in mind that both partners (if you are in a two partner household!) do not necessarily need to be off at same time! This can help cut down on initial childcare costs, too.

If you’re planning on starting a family, how confident are you about your career staying on track? Leave your questions and concerns below and we’ll do our best to answer!

Looking for your next dream job? Check out open roles on Scouted here!