Asking about maternity benefits while interviewing?

Hi all,

My partner and I plan to start growing our family in the next year or two, and better parental leave and health insurance is a big part of why I'm now job hunting.

When and how have you asked about parental leave during the interviewing process? I'm in tech, so I have concerns about retaliation around asking too early.

Thanks! <3

Good question! If you want to work at a company where culturally they encourage you to take leave, etc., then asking this early is perhaps a way for you to vet their culture and whether they welcome future moms and parents. If you don't want to use these as a vetting technique, you could instead consider asking about the team culture. Often when a team describes their team culture, if team members have kids, that will organically come up. If teammates have kids, it's more likely that the team will have kid friendly policies.Also – we have a filter on the Elpha job board so that you can look up companies with 12+ weeks of maternity leave, or healthcare coverage for dependents ( Companies on Elpha specify that info in their profiles so you don't even have to ask :)
Hi Anon, thank you for posting! And congratulations on taking that step, I'm excited for you and your partner :)A few ways to do your own DD is to ask folks at the companies you're targeting just like you'd ask for time to do an info interview about culture, experience, this is something that you could ask? Another thing is to simply look into what they say on their website on the benefits page? If you're looking into tech companies (from early stage to growth) in big cities, Built In [City name] is an amazing resource (for instance there's a Built in NYC that targets NYC-based companies but there's the SF, Atl, Chicago etc version!) And of course I'd recommend looking at Elpha!
I would say if you want to play it defensively, you should ask when you receive the offer at the end. Best of luck!
I tend to agree with most of the comments below. I became pregnant DURING an interview process, so asking about leave was less of a choice than a necessity. If you wait until the offer letter stage you may find yourself in a spot where you're trying to post-rationalize a less-than-ideal leave situation at a company you otherwise love. Here's the way I handled it: - I did some light research (literally just googling: "parental leave at ___")- The next time the recruiter asked if I had any questions I asked if it would be possible for her to send a summary of benefits for me to review (most recruiters will have a PDF packet they can send your way immediately)- Thankfully the leave policy was pretty well detailed in that PDF in my case, so I didn't have to share anything I wasn't ready to before I was ready. If this hadn't been the case though, I would have just come out and asked: "I read somewhere that you have a pretty generous parental leave policy; I'd be curious to hear more about that and any other benefits employees really like." - It helped me to frame the conversation in my mind as a way of advocating for my future family, rather than an uncomfortable or awkward conversation. While I didn't disclose my pregnancy during the interview process, I did share the news with my recruiter and manager after I had signed the offer letter, and before my start date. I didn't want to create any "gotcha" moments for a company I was truly excited to get started with, and sharing when I did helped us all create a solid plan. - Cadran's point below really rings true: do you want to work at a company where they don't welcome or value parents and parenting? If these questions are tough for a recruiter to answer (joyfully, I might add!), maybe this is a company that you should reconsider. A culture that encourages parenting just plain makes your life easier. Final pro tip as you interview: Make sure to inquire about probationary periods before you're allowed to access leave benefits. Some companies will withhold these benefits unless you have been working there an entire year, so it's important to ask ahead of time if this exists at the company you're interviewing with, and if there's ever been a case where there was some flexibility on this policy. I have lots of feelings about how punitive and backward these types of policies truly are, but that's a conversation to be had over a cocktail (or in my case, mocktail).
At one of your first interviews, I would ask for a follow-up packet/email that includes a list that details all of their benefits so you're not 'outing' yourself but seem like you're interested in seeing all of their offerings. Could be good to ask for along with asking a question about culture.