Navigating Parental Leave With Dr. Amy Beacom and Sue Campbell

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Table Of Contents

In this episode, Michael Gardon chats with Dr. Amy Beacom and Sue Campbell. Dr. Amy Beacom is the Founder and CEO of the Center for Parental Leave Leadership, the first consultancy in the US to focus exclusively on parental leave. Drawing on over 25 years in executive leadership development and coaching, Amy consults with Fortune 100 companies, international organizations, and working parents, transforming the way our companies and our country engage with the parental leave transition.

Amy created the first evidence-based parental leave transition coaching model and distilled it into this book, the first of its kind to provide step-by-step guidance for navigating this complex life transition. She has trained and supervised parental leave coaches both in the US and Australia and the manager-focused training program she created can be found in over 80 countries around the world. She regularly appears on expert panels, conferences, and podcasts and has been quoted in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Working Mother. Amy holds a BA in Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in Gender Studies from Lewis and Clark College, an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and a doctorate, also from Columbia University, combining Organizational Psychology, Women’s Leadership, Work/Family, and Applied Anthropology. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their son and daughter.

Sue Campbell is a writer, author, and coach who has worked with the Center for Parental Leave Leadership since its early days, helping to communicate the transformative impact of their core mission. Her professional background includes twelve years in public service, seven of those as a business systems analyst leading projects and teams to deliver process improvements through technology. Her writing, often focused on issues important to parents, has been published in many outlets, including Prevention, Good Housekeeping, Scary Mommy, and Mamalode. She is also the author of, The Cat, the Cash, the Leap, and the List, a novel for middle grade readers. Sue lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children.


  • Why parental leave is a sacred time
  • How Dr. Amy Beacom started focusing on parental leave
  • How to make space to go back to work, pivot your career or some version of both
  • What is the big problem with parental leave? Why should we care?
  • The Parental Leave Playbook focuses on how to create the practice of leave experience, within the broken system, to have a successful leave and not jeopardize your career
  • What’s realistic to ask for as a parent
  • The difference between a husband or partner taking time and and the mother taking time
    • The “fatherhood bonus” + the “motherhood penalty”
  • Navigating parental leave + remote work


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Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

Michael Gardon (00:00):

Hi everyone. And welcome back to another episode of the CareerCloud Radio podcast. I'm your host Michael Gardon. One of the reasons why I do this podcast, because I want to help people take control of their work lives. You can get the most out of their work life since I'm a parent of three, and my wife also works full time. I've had a firsthand window into the world of parental leave over the last 10 years, and man does it suck. So I wanted to do an episode on this topic that impacts millions of careers of women and men who wish to become parents. If you think this doesn't apply to you, think again, it affects you, it affects your coworkers. It affects your friends, and it affects the cultures at your companies to help us navigate this issue of parental leave our, my guest today, Dr. Amy Beacom and Sue Campbell.

Michael Gardon (00:41):

Amy is the founder and CEO of the center for parental leave leadership. A first of its kind consultancy and advocacy organization focused exclusively on parental leave. So Campbell is a writer, author, and coach, and she is currently the communications director at the center for parental leave leadership together. They coauthored the parental leave playbook to help parents take control of their leave. This book is extremely important since there are really no good guidelines policies for what parental leave should be in the U S so at this point in time, it's incumbent on parents to take more ownership and control of their time off. I hope you enjoy this wide ranging conversation with Dr. Kamie Beacom and Sue Campbell, Amy Sue, welcome to the podcast. So glad you're here.

Speaker 2 (01:29):

Thanks for having us.

Michael Gardon (01:31):

We're going to have a little bit of back and forth with the two the two guests today, but I think we're all up for the challenge. So for my audience, just to kind of tee up this topic of why is Mike doing a, an episode on parental leave? So, as I've talked about before, I'm a father of three, two of my kids have birthdays this week. So shout out to Graham and all we're going to be 10 and five. And my wife and I run a two income household. So we've had an evolution of kind of dealing with parental leave. And I would say my views on the topic have changed going from zero kids. Not thinking it matter to the, you know, by the time I had three, it was like, wow, this is really sacred time, you know, to have with my kids. Yeah. What does working and be like when I come back and all of those kinds of things. So that's why I wanted to have this discussion today, because again, our podcast here is all about taking control and really trying to get a good work-life balance. So, ladies, I really appreciate that you're here. I guess I want to start off right off the bat. Amy, if you could maybe start and talk to us a little bit about how you got into the work that you do today.

Speaker 2 (02:42):

Sure, sure. Thanks, Mike. I'm just struck by something you've said. So I'm going to this idea of sacred time and that, that transition that you go through from being that not parent, you know, that worker to becoming a parent three, I'm a parent of two as is SU. So I can, I feel like I want to be interviewing you right now, but I started this when I, well, at 15 years ago, I was on the other side of this. I was living in New York. I was working on my doctorate. I was consulting to some of the biggest brands in the country around work-life balance and women's leadership and women's economic advancement. And I didn't have any children. I just had seen this as a barrier to women's career success and wanted to work on it. And then, and I had also been told that I could never have children.

Speaker 2 (03:36):

So that was it was later in my career and I, all of a sudden was going to be a mom. And it was really, really exciting, but I also didn't realize imagine 15 years ago, this wasn't really talked about this. Wasn't people went away on leave. They came back, they were supposed to be the same person and fit right back in and carry on. And so I set myself up for a three week leave, which I thought was plenty long. And I was the primary breadwinner in my family. And, you know, it was my first time. Plus I was this recognized expert in this topic, right. I thought I knew what I was doing. And then I had my first son and I was completely knocked over by the experience of it. And I had an interesting moment after the fact where all of the things that I had been working on in my career, I had just finished creating this first executive coaching curriculum that Columbia university had to teach about what executive coaching is.

Speaker 2 (04:38):

I was doing work life consulting. I was working on leadership issues. And then I had a child. And I, it was like this awareness that we had been overlooking the most important moment in a new parent, whether at the time I was focused on women, but whatever their gender identity in their career and personal life cycle, you know, that personal and professional timeframe. And so I changed the focus of my research and my work to try and create a field to support that time within our companies and individually. So that's a long answer to your question, but I think it's important to, for people to think about how far we've come in 15 years, as well as that transition from being a one-side of being a parent to being on the other and realizing, oh, there's a lot in here. There's a lot that we can really use.

Michael Gardon (05:34):

Yeah. I think it's something you, you don't necessarily get until you experienced because there's so many different things going on, right. It's not just the time, it's the emotional rollercoaster. It's feeling inadequate because you don't know what to do, like how to take care of this life and all those kinds of things. So for me, it's such a very unique and powerful time. I think it's very clear that yeah, three weeks isn't enough to get it done. It's just not cutting it. So and you know, of course speaking from the kind of the father role and, and, and all of that. So

Speaker 2 (06:11):

You said this idea that you're talking about of the sacred time and this unique and powerful time, that's what I experienced in that moment. I was really struggling. I was having postpartum depression. I wasn't sure how to take care of this little human. It was, you know, it was such a mess, but what ended up coming from that time was that creativity, I literally invented a new field in this country because of that time. And I think that so many people have a similar experience where something comes to them that connects with their heart or their purpose or their, their new path. And because we haven't created a world where we're allowed to explore that and bring it back, it doesn't get to common and impact everyone and help everyone. And so that is one of the goals in this work is to make space for that, whether that's to go back into your company and your job at your current Leann or to pivot into a new career or some version of both.

Michael Gardon (07:13):

Yeah. So for the audience members who maybe don't have kids, or are on the cusp of maybe having their first child, can you try to just explain, like, what is the big problem with parental leave right now? Let's just take the U S why should we care? What are the downstream effects? Like, what are you likely to experience if you're not, if you haven't been through that, I guess,

Speaker 2 (07:35):

Yeah, I can start, but Sue I'm like, I want you to jump in here, but I mean, the biggest problem is we don't have a consistent paid leave policy in this country, right? There's a lack of paid leave, but I also want your listeners to understand the difference between a paid leave policy and then the practice that puts that policy into effect. So right now we have nine states plus DC in this country that have some sort of paid leave policy. That means those states have a mandate. All the companies within them have to provide a paid leave program. It's usually an insurance type program, like social security, that company, and the individual pay a little bit into, and then they get six to 12 weeks of paid leave. And what that does is it allows time to heal, to bond, to form your new families, spend time in that wonderful moment, and then be able then to go back to work in a way that is a little more healthy, right?

Speaker 2 (08:35):

And so that is one of the biggest problems in this country. So this inconsistency creates problems for companies. If you're a multi-state employer, or you just want to be doing good in other parts of the country, that don't have a paid leave program that is on your shoulders to provide solely. So right now we're in the infrastructure bill, there is a policy program. It is the most bi-partisan program that we see seventy-five percent of swing state participants across the aisle support, having a paid leave program. This is like one of the few things our country can agree on. And so you want to pop in, I feel like you can really add to this well, it's something that has been on the cusp of happening for a long time. And a lot of different policy groups have been working toward it. One other thing I want to point out is the difference between FEMLA which everybody in theory, it's the law of the land.

Speaker 2 (09:35):

It's the federal policy we do have for one thing, FEMLA is completely unpaid. And the second part is FEMLA only applies to about, I can't remember the exact stat, 40, 40, 50% of the population because of the restrictions around it, right. Employer of a certain size, certain number of employees. So this has really been an egregious oversight in our social safety net in this country for a very, very long time. And we're on the brink of solving it. And one of the things that I really admired about when I came in and started working with Amy about seven, eight years ago, was that she could already see beyond that she was like, paid leave is going to happen one way or another. This can't go on. We're going to get paid leave, but what's going to happen when companies actually have to start implementing it, what's the practice need to look like so that people aren't subtly penalized, right? Or unconsciously penalized for taking advantage of the policy. So what we focus on and what the book really focuses on is how do you create that practice of your leave experience within this broken system that allows you to have a successful Aleve as possible and have that sacred time with your family and not jeopardize your career in the process,

Michael Gardon (10:52):

Speaking to the parents, speaking to what they can do in terms of taking control of that. And what's their part in it, not just leaving it up to the company or the state.

Speaker 2 (11:04):

Exactly. And when I, when I had my first child, about 14 years ago, I was waiting for everyone to tell me what to do and what was going to happen. And it was very patchwork and piecemeal, and nobody had a cohesive plan that they could hand to me. Right. And I was a little bit flabbergasted by that. And therefore was very reactive, right? At every point I was reacting to something about the situation. And, you know, I know this is something you advocate for regularly, Mike, but you need to lead your own leave experience. And I met Amy shortly before I got pregnant with my second child. And my second leave experience was a very, very different as a result of that, because I understood, okay, nobody's going to do this for me. If I actually want to have an experience that aligns with my values and creates the kind of time that I want, I need to set it up and I need to set it up in a way that other people actually are like, follow my lead and feel the confidence that I have about the ability to get through it all.

Speaker 2 (12:10):

And that really, really goes a long way.

Michael Gardon (12:13):

So let's dive into that a little bit and we can come back to policy and paid leave, but, but it's not just about paid leave. It's one of the two of you, I forget which one said subtly penalized, like I'm curious to look, what are the things that are happening or what are the things that you have to take control of in this moment, because really nobody else is going to, it's going to take control of them for you. What are those things that or can you maybe give some examples?

Speaker 2 (12:41):

All of it. I think to Sue's point people today still think they're still blindsided by the fact that they don't have paid leave, that it is, you know, maybe they have family and they're blindsided that nobody's telling them what to do. And that there isn't a clear process. There's very few companies in this country that have that. And they're the bigger ones who've had to, they may work in other countries and they've learned how to do that. Well over there, but here in the U S from start to finish, it's on you. And the goal here is to make sure it's on you in collaboration with your company, because that's, what's going to set you up for success. Long-Term what we're trying to do is use the process as a way to improve your career, improve your job, improve your experience as an employee and as a parent.

Speaker 2 (13:31):

And so that starts with our first a, we call them 10 A's, but the touch points in our framework. And these are really the things that over the many years, 15 years I've been doing this, the touch points are all of the pieces that everyone has to go through in their transition. They're the commonalities that everyone touches in some format. And so, however you interact with those has a negative or positive experience on your transition can send you one way or another. And then your own personal individual experience is sort of the, I don't know what to call it, the fluffing and the pillow. That's all the pieces that you make this your unique time. So it's completely individual, but it does have these touch points that everyone navigates through. So the first one is announcement, right? So that's right at the beginning, how you as a new parent makes that announcement and enters into that space with your company around this topic sets the tone for the entire three phase transition.

Speaker 2 (14:32):

So if you come in and you're apologetic and you're like, oh, I'm sorry. I know this is a horrible time. I wish this didn't happen. You know, whatever it is that is not sending a tone that you want to set for your leave experience. If you rather go in and say, I'm so excited, I'm going to be welcoming this child into my family and our lives. And this is what I'm thinking to do. Can we set up a time to talk about it more and make a plan, you know, et cetera, et cetera, that that sets a very different tone. On the flip side, there's a responsibility from the organization to also know what, how they respond in each of these touch points. So for this example, if that manager then says, oh, no, this is horrible. What are we going to do? Or, oh, you're fired then that's not a good response.

Speaker 2 (15:24):

So we know what makes a good response. What makes a good way of doing this. I've been doing this in in, you know, for a long time. So if that new manager instead says, oh, I'm so excited for you. I know it's a tricky time right now, but we've got this. There's a, you know, area of our website that has all these things. Let's sit down and have our meeting and we have these forms. There's this, I'm going to hold your hand through this. It's not going to be a problem. We're going to use it as an opportunity to grow the team. That's sending a different message. That's sort of the, each of our touch points have that. Sure.

Michael Gardon (16:00):

So there's a huge communication element around right? Tricky topic, both sides, not clear, not clear guidelines. This is all supposed to happen. So,

Speaker 2 (16:09):

And everyone's scared, right? Everybody's scared that manager's terrified. He's going to start a preg. He or she's going to start a lawsuit, gender discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, lawsuit, say the wrong thing. You know, at the very least, just step in it and be embarrassed, right? And that new parents worried they're going to get fired for their gun. Something, those opportunities for advancement or

Michael Gardon (16:32):

Sue, is there an opportunity and maybe the, this is a cornerstone of the book, but in terms of guiding parents on what they should ask for, what's realistic to ask for in this dialogue, since there are really concrete guidelines, I guess that's especially, probably in a, in a small business setting, larger companies probably have a little bit more guidance on what their policy is.

Speaker 2 (16:57):

So the second aid that we're talking about is kind of where you set yourself up to figure out, figure that out for yourself. So the second aid is assessed. So you have to take a look like from every single angle of your situation. What are you facing? What is your situation at work? What are your relationships like with your manager and leadership and your teammates? What strategies do you bring that have served you well in the past that you can bring now to this situation, what are the potential sabotages, right? What are the really tricky things that are going on right now that this is only going to really throw a wrench in things. Once you do that assessment and you align it with your values and what you want to get out of the experience, then you're set up for the third day, which is to make that action plan.

Speaker 2 (17:47):

And the action plan is where you get to decide, not just how you're going to hand off your work, but what you're going to ask for in terms of flexibility, when you come back, right, do you want an intermittent return? A lot of dads, for example, want some time initially, right? When the child arrives and then they want to come back to work. And then when their partner goes back to work, they may want to take more time off. So think in terms of what is going to set you up well and feed you, not just practically, but emotionally, and then you frame it. And it's just like any other ask at work. If you're coming, instead of dropping all of your problems at your manager's feet, you bring the solution. If you bring the plan, it makes it very easy for them to say yes, especially because managers are not trained on how to handle anything related to parental leave by and large, right?

Speaker 2 (18:40):

I would say 98% of companies managers don't know what to do. So if you come to them with a plan that not just meets your needs, but also meets the organization's needs, they're going to have a very easy time saying yes to you. Of course not. In all cases, you know, we are, we don't have completely rose colored glasses. We know some environments are very toxic and others are just have room for flexibility and people just, we want to do the right thing, but they don't have time, or they don't have the tools. So if you are doing the legwork of bringing a plan that will work for everyone and presenting it as, Hey, this is actually an opportunity for Sam to get trained in this thing that he's been wanting to learn, or this is an opportunity for our team to really tighten up the way it communicates. And we pass this information, right? Present the opportunities and work your own solutions in there so that you get what you need to

Michael Gardon (19:33):

Really hard to think ahead into these situations. If you haven't been there before. So the book and the guideline and the roadmap is, is very helpful and timely, I would assume,

Speaker 2 (19:47):

Oh, I was just going to say, and we ask these questions in there with each of these, what do you want to be asking yourself? What are your reflection, questions? What are your, we have exercises, what's your values, exercise. How do you want to set your boundaries? What are your about what type of boundary management techniques do you want to use? You know, there's, we sort of, the idea of the book is that you have a coach in your hand for everybody in this country, because right now, coaching is expensive. It's hard to come by. It's not easily accessible. We're working on that, getting it widely accessible to everyone, but for now, this is what we're working with. So we hope that's how it comes out for folks. Right? And Mike, as I'm sure you and your wife learned like you, your personal growth and your personal development, when you become a parent is just like through the roof, right? If you grow in ways, you never even knew you needed to grow. And it happens in a very short amount of time, your priorities crystallize, you become just wicked efficient at absolutely everything you do. There are so many things that happen that could benefit your workplace. If there's that trust established. If there is that understanding between you and your manager and you and your team, that this is actually going to be a gift in many, many ways to everyone, but you have to set that relationship expectation up at the beginning of it,

Michael Gardon (21:18):

I have a quick story that plays into this stuff. I'm on the board of a really small kind of, you know, growing company. They're trying to get their legs under them here in, in town. And the CEO came to me and said, Hey, like I have this one. One of my employees is going to be taking parental leave at some point. And we don't really have a policy. I said, well, what do you want to do? When he comes through? The little research comes back to me with like the bare minimum FEMLA, you know, guidance. And I said, okay, but you have to realize that in this person who was a woman, you are literally building one of the most efficient people on planet earth. Once they, once they have this baby, you know, I said it from that standpoint, I was like, you can't maybe make dollars and cents right now when it feels like you're pinching pennies.

Michael Gardon (22:07):

But like, you don't want to be known for doing the bare minimum. And the bare minimum is not enough anyway, but, but what you get out of it is like, really, when you treat somebody right. Loyalty and just an absolute productive machine to act, to be callous, like it's just true. And so, yeah, he ended up kind of like going back and having more of a dialogue instead of saying, okay, here's our policy. I'm going to set it. Like they've worked it out. And I think overall it's been a positive experience for both of them. So

Speaker 2 (22:41):

Thank you for doing that. Thank you for doing that. My, the background in leadership development, I used to do executive development and leadership development programs, and it's sort of a pun and I'm going to now I'm embarrassed to say it, but I really think of it as the mother of all experiential learning programs, right? You can't this timeframe and this experience is happening anyway. And if you can think of it that way, the way I see new parents grow during this timeframe, I never saw once in the 10 years I was doing leadership development programs. I mean, it's so incredibly powerful. And we do take that perspective throughout the book. The first chapter, one of the things we're asking you to think of yourself as a leader, and then in each area, we're pointing out which leadership development skills you're honing during that, that day.

Speaker 2 (23:35):

So there is that framework to the other thing you're making me think about is the important, I don't know what made me think of that. This boss, maybe when men take leave, it has a seven per each month of leave that a man takes has a 7% increase in that woman's pay and in women's pay. So the more the men take leave, the more money women make. And that I think speaks to the importance of this being a gender neutral policy within companies and treating it equally that way, this is, it gets so tricky in our country and actually everywhere in the world because of the biological nature of birth and breastfeeding and, you know, just all of those practical pieces, but for fat for women to actually not be penalized to your question to Sue it's, that's going to stop happening when men are taking it in equal numbers for the same length of time, when it just becomes the way we do it. Right?

Michael Gardon (24:33):

Sure. Yeah. Very interesting. I was going to ask a little bit more about maybe the disparities. And so we talked about pay a little bit, but I mean, what are some of the data or some of the key points about how, just in terms of the difference between maybe a husband taking time and and the, the mother taking time, how are those things affecting people differently? I guess?

Speaker 2 (24:57):

Sure. So th there's something called the fatherhood bonus, right? So generally when men announced that they're welcoming a child, their workplace culture responds by saying, oh, well, then you're going to need a promotion or a raise because you're the breadwinner. And, you know, you need to support a family now. And then there is a motherhood penalty where a woman announces the same thing and it's like, oh, well, you're no longer going to be a totally dedicated employee right now. You're going to have this divided attention, et cetera, et cetera. So on a cultural response level, we ha we see a lot of impact in advancement. Of course, we know that women who become mothers, a lot of them end up leaving the workforce, at least for a period of time. Part of that is because we don't have a paid leave policy. Part of that is cause we don't have good childcare. And part of that is because men make more. So when a couple is looking at the decision of who's going to keep working and who's going to stay at home, they stay with the bigger paycheck. So it's this cycle that keeps deepening because of the way our culture is set up. Got it.

Michael Gardon (26:06):

I want him to get into, so the last 18 months have been really interesting obviously, right? We have gone fully remote, and now we have sort of this big concept or idea of the great resignation and in a labor shortage, how are you seeing this issue of parental leave and policy playing out in that context? Is this something that is mothers, fathers are leaving jobs to stay at home more? Or is it, is it something more along the lines of we're at, we like remote remotes, like net positive for parents, right? Like what are you seeing from this?

Speaker 2 (26:48):

I think it's a mixed bag and it has changed through this 18 months. Women are being more negatively impacted than men overall. We have, I can't remember the stat off the top of my head, but it's a significant amount of women are being forced out of the workforce above men. And that is for caregiving duties. And so there's that we are seeing some real positives. When we talk about the parental leave timeframe, we have people who are now, now we've been doing this long enough that we have people who are becoming pregnant while working from home, not having, you know, not showing anything cause they're from here down in the video, right. Having children and going on leave while still being at home and then going back from leave while still working from home. So, you know, there's a lot to navigate there and it is happening differently for different people.

Speaker 2 (27:40):

I heard somebody say this week, and I can't remember where I saw it. I'm going to have to figure that out. But they were using the term rather than the great resignation, the great reinvention. And I really appreciated that because that's, what's happening. We talk about parental leave as a transition over time. But right now our country is in a massive transition as well. And I was very hopeful in the beginning of this, that we would seize the opportunity in the same way. I encourage people to seize the chaos of parental leave to, to choose how you want it to set up, you know, how you want it to go. But that has largely not happened in in many ways. We're going back to what it was. And we're just going to perpetuate some of the same problems that we have in the past.

Speaker 2 (28:25):

But in other places we're really learning from it. So we are, we've had a window into people's work, home lives in a much different way. And I think that's allowed a lot of people to break become more authentic in their work, bring themselves to it more. And they're saying to your point, like, this is a net positive. I don't want to lose this. And so the companies that are able to figure that out, how to keep that and how to support that will be the ones that survive in this next phase of this. Great. Re-invention

Michael Gardon (28:58):

Do you have a couple of examples of like forward thinking companies who is on the cutting edge of, of this issue in terms of what you guys are really looking for?

Speaker 2 (29:07):

Do you have anyone in mind too? I'm thinking of, oh, I put I'm blanking on his name. I'm the worst. When it comes to what we generally see is the tech sector, the startups are really good at pivoting and being flexible. A lot of them are already distributed teams. They don't have a base office anyway. So they're like, yeah, this is the way we've always done business. And then we see them evolving their parental leave policies when their young team starts to get into that child-bearing age. And then they're the ones who come up with those really forward-thinking policies. There's such a talent fight in that sector that they're always looking for the way that they can retain the talent that they already have. Right. So I think text's leading the way on a lot of these issues. And you can see some of the older, more entrenched tech firms are like, no, everybody needs to get their tail back to the office, right.

Speaker 2 (30:03):

Or we're going to dock your pay and all these things. And I don't think that is going to fly longterm. We're only seeing more and more opportunities for people to join remote teams or start up their own thing. I'm really excited because I think a lot of the women who have left the traditional workforce are going to start up their own thing on their own terms that meets their family flexibility needs, or when they're going back into the workforce and we're going to need them, right. Companies are going to be trying to get these women back. They're going to demand certain things, workplace flexibility, more time off paid parental leave. Right? I think things will shift in a dramatic way as a result of this. And it will be to the benefit of working families, but it's going to be tough on the way there it's going to be.

Speaker 2 (30:52):

It's going to be tough. I won't name the bank's names, but I had an interesting conversation with some people in New York recently, and there's three different major banks and they're all handling the return to work differently. One is very much like everybody in right now, that's it. We're going back to the way it was at the other one is like, okay, well, we'll do a little bit of flax. And the other one run by a woman. CEO is fully embracing a new way of working and the chatter is everyone wants to go there. That's where weather. So just as a little, little microcosm of what we'll be seeing on, on a bigger scale around the country, I think anytime people have it's eyeopening, right? Like this has been an opening time and really a value centering time. What matters what's important to me, life is short. And I think that any of the companies that are open to understanding the human at the center of their workforce and supporting that human are going to be the ones that succeed.

Michael Gardon (31:58):

Yes. I agree with that wholeheartedly. I had a couple of gentlemen on last week, you know, company culture people and have a, have a new book out and the center of their whole thesis and approaches respect. And this plays right into that, right? When you understand, when you understand the human, you have empathy for that human and you develop a respect and you treat them as, as a human. And that's what comes through ultimately in culture. And obviously parental leave is a great part of this. So just to bring back to the policy level, before I, before I let, let you go, we're driving at this. I think at the beginning, we were kind of saying, we're driving at this paid leave. Policy is very bipartisan what's needed right now to get that over the finish line in a satisfactory way, the way that isn't just necessarily about how much we pay people, but it's like holistic to cover the issue.

Speaker 2 (32:56):

Thanks for asking that, Mike, I think what people need to know is we, when FMLA was passed 30 ish years ago, it was the compromise that was made was that it would not be funded, that it was an unpaid job protection program. And so we've been dealing with the aftermath of that for 30 years. And so what we're looking at now with this infrastructure bill is a way to remedy that. And so the minimum in order to not make every company have to jump through 50 other hoops, because the minimum of 12 weeks leave needs to happen, that then aligns with other states that aligned with fem light aligns with the way we think about that. That is a basement floor of amount of time. It takes to do this well as a family. So that's one thing we needed to be gender neutral to the reasons I was saying before, in order to have it make an impact on some of those longer-term issues, women falling out, being forced out of the workforce, losing out on social security, losing all of those kinds of issues that compounded from that.

Speaker 2 (34:01):

And we need it to be flexible and it needs to be the same for everyone. So that's a policy piece. What I would ask of your listeners right now is we are at this moment where that policy that was presented as 12 weeks is being whittled away because of more compromising because of budget. And that's understandable, of course, it's an enormous, it's all, there's a whole mess of stuff that's happening, but this one really is a bi-partisan issue that everyone benefits from. Because when we talk about a paid leave bill, we aren't an unpaid leave insurance program in the United States. It's not just for parental leave. It's also to care for a sick loved one or yourself recovering from cancer or, you know, things like that. So don't think, oh, I'm not a parent. This doesn't apply to me. It absolutely applies to you. It's what may save you from being forced out of work altogether, going bankrupt. So if people go to paid leave for all that org, there's a form there where they can, it finds your senators and Congress people, and you can write them immediately. But if you do nothing, if this is something you believe in and are compelled by making that call this week, next week right now is a really genuinely impactful thing that you can do. I don't know if that helps answer your question, but I love to get that plug in there.

Michael Gardon (35:26):

Yeah, no. Perfect. So the book parental leave playbook is really a combination of a lot of your work and research over the last many years it's currently out. Yeah. It

Speaker 2 (35:37):

Just came out. It just came out. It's live in the world,

Michael Gardon (35:44):

Hold it up

Speaker 2 (35:44):

Too soon.

Michael Gardon (35:47):

Nice. Anything else you would like to leave the audience with about that book and your work and anything else

Speaker 2 (35:54):

Will you tell about? We have a whole pie because there's so much that is needed that builds around this. And because the publisher was going to murder me, if I did more than 300 pages, they're like enough already. We also made the decision to make a lot of the resources that we use with our client companies available to anyone who has the book. So we've created this whole webpage where we have the action plans. We have the checklist, we have reflection workbooks. And for managers, for new moms, dads, we have values exercises. There's a whole host of things on that, that come with the book. So it really is intended to be a full experience. And of course, we're here to help if anyone needs that. Also we do. CPL is the only center for parental leave. Leadership is the only is the first consulting in the country to focus on parental leave exclusively.

Speaker 2 (36:49):

So we've been around for eight years. So we've done everything from policy to creating the first evidence-based coaching, practice, you all of these different things. If you're doing anything around parental leave, call us and we will help you. But Sue knows all the where's and where to get the book. Well, you can get the book anywhere books are sold. If you just want to look at more of the details, you can go to C P L forward slash book. And then of course, once you buy the book inside, you'll get a link to all of those other downloadable resources that will help you plan.

Michael Gardon (37:24):

Okay, great. And for our audience, we'll have all these links in the show notes, plenty of information on the center for parental leave leadership, the book, and any other mentions that were made here today. So we'll have that, all of that in the show notes, when the show comes out, Amy Sue, thanks so much for, for being here. I learned a lot. I really appreciate the work that you ladies are doing. And thank you so much for being here.

Speaker 2 (37:46):

Thanks so much for having, and it's so important to have more dads doing this. So thank you and happy birthday to your kids

Michael Gardon (37:55):

So much. Appreciate it

Speaker 3 (37:56):

CareerCloud Radio is a production of Please review this episode on iTunes. We really appreciate it a lot. And thank you for this.