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Yahoo's Marissa Mayer Expands Parental Leave

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who sparked plenty of discussion about work-life balance when she prohibited telecommuting this past winter, took a step in the opposite direction, Tuesday: Mayer expanded Yahoo's parental leave policy.

Reuters reports:

"Under Yahoo's new policy, new mothers and fathers can take up to 8 weeks of fully-paid leave. If a woman gave birth to the baby, she is entitled to an additional 8 weeks of paid leave, for a total of 16 weeks paid leave.

"Yahoo previously did not provide paid leave to fathers and the total amount of paid maternity leave varied from state to state, but was generally six weeks.

"New parents will now also get up to $500 for expenses such as child care and laundry, Yahoo said."

NBC News reports the new policy moves Yahoo closer to its Silicon Valley competitors, Google and Facebook, and may help soften the backlash the company experienced from the telecommute decision.

The network adds:

"But it doesn't only make sense from a public relations standpoint, observers said. The new policy could fit into a broader corporate strategy to attract and retain more talent and ultimately improve Yahoo's financial performance.

"'It's a smart move,' said Rachel Sklar, a New York-based blogger and founder of The Li.st, an organization dedicated to elevate the status of women in New Media and technology. 'It suggests a long-term strategy. This is a great precedent.'"

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