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Mark Zuckerberg is taking two months paternity leave and here's why it matters
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday he plans to take two months of paternity leave when his child is born. Here's why The Washington Post said, "It's hard to overstate what a big deal this is." - photo by Payton Davis
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's family-oriented Friday announcement might hint at his most influential move since the creation of the social media giant, according to The Washington Post.

Catherine Rampell wrote for the Post that Zuckerberg detailed his plan to take two months of paternity leave after the birth of his child. The Post indicated Zuckerberg's move could "disrupt" parenting and that "it's hard to overstate what a big deal this is."

Zuckerberg's choice deals with what his own family needs; however, his stature makes it noteworthy for all U.S. parents, the Post's piece read.

"Zuckerberg said this was a 'very personal decision,' presumably based on what he and his wife believe is best for their family," according to the Post. "But in making this choice so publicly, he's done a major solid for the men (and women, and children) of America."

The bottom line: Zuckerberg devoting time to family building sets an expectation others should follow, Vlad Savov wrote for The Verge. People mistake "workaholism" for dedication and confuse neglect of family as "some kind of marker for diligence."

By taking a sizeable leave, Zuckerberg is showing that family life trumps all that, though.

Marion Dakers noted for The Telegraph the announcement is also significant because executives taking time off because of parenthood is rare.

I reported in September on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to take "limited time away and working throughout" her pregnancy and the reaction of working mothers.

"Many people are rooting for Marissa Mayer to take a longer leave in order to be a better role model for women in professional and executive positions," Ellen Bravo wrote for CNBC then. "How many in senior positions will feel comfortable taking the full time if the top company mom takes so little?"

My report indicated Mayer doubled Yahoo's paid maternity leave from eight weeks to 16 in 2013.

However, she didn't plan to take near that much, Linda Carroll wrote for Today.

And according to the American Family Survey fielded by Deseret News and Brigham Young University, whether U.S. parents feel comfortable taking time off post-pregnancy or not, they agree more paid leave should be available.

"When maternity leave was asked about first, respondents suggested about five months paid leave for women and four months for men," Lois M. Collins wrote for DNN. "The number of months rose only slightly for unpaid leave. Both Republicans and Democrats support leave, paid or not, with no big differences by gender."

Does four of five months sound like a lot?

It still pales in comparison to other countries, Emily Crockett wrote for Vox.

Canada offers 35 weeks maternity leave, Germany provides 44 and Norway allows 70.

"Even Saudi Arabia offers 10 weeks of paid maternity leave, which is a lot more than the zero weeks Americans get unless they work for a generous employer," Vox noted.

In Zuckerberg's Facebook post detailing his intention to take two months leave, he wrote of the benefits of taking time from work after a baby's birth, Isabelle Khoo wrote for The Huffington Post Canada.

"Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families," Zuckerberg indicated.
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