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Paternity leave is ‘kiss of death’ for Wall Street bankers



Wall Street trader
Traders and bankers aren’t
exactly jumping at the chance to take off all the paternity leave
their companies offer.

Platt/Getty Images


While the US is the only developed country in the world to lack a
national maternity leave program,
some companies
are trying to be more accommodating for new
parents. Top companies
are starting to recognize
that paid family leave can boost
retention, attract new talent, and garner good press

Paid paternity leave, in particular, has increased. The average
amount of paid time off for dads grew from four weeks in 2015 to

11 weeks last year
among top companies. And companies who
have paid leave for dads saw an uptick
from 12% in 2014
to 29% this year. 

But research suggests that, even when companies do offer paid
time off for dads, it’s not always taken.

Among companies offering four weeks of paternity leave, just over
half of men in
a 2014 Boston College study
took four or more weeks off.
Nearly a quarter of men took one week or less off even if their
company allowed for two weeks of paid leave. 

The discrepancy between the paternity leave permitted by a
company and what men there actually take is particularly clear in
finance, according to
an eFinancialCareers article
by Beecher Tuttle. 

Citigroup allows
eight weeks
of paid leave for a second parent, and any parent
employed at Bank of America can take up to
16 weeks
of paid time off. 

But what happens when a Wall Street banker actually takes all
that time off?  

It’s the kiss of death,” Roy Cohen, career coach and
author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide,”

told eFinancialCareers

A half-dozen bankers, traders, and asset managers
told eFinancialCareers
 about their meager time off when
their wives had a child; most took just a couple days off. The
one who took more than a couple days only did so because he was
starting a new job soon after. 

“People are paid a premium to work hard and make personal
sacrifices,” Cohen said. “You won’t be perceived as disloyal, but
others may begin to question your commitment.”

Ultimately, when fathers don’t take all of their unpaid time off,

the burden of parenting
falls on women. That’s clear on Wall
Street too,
Tuttle wrote

Read the entire eFinancial Careers article

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