COULD PATERNITY LEAVE POLICIES CLOSE THE WAGE GAP?

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Media Outlet: Fast Company

Mundy, director of the Breadwinning & Caregiving Program at New America, says that paternity leave doesn't just allow men more time to connect with their child, it also helps advance women by dividing family responsibilities at an early, crucial time, which leads to a more gender-balanced system. "Paternity leave resets the division of labor in the households, gives men a chance to get involved very early on in a way that often becomes permanent, and actually frees up women to work more," says Mundy. "It also can spread the stigma around so that women don't get singled out for being the potential problem hires or problem employees. If everybody—male or female—is asking for leave or taking leave that they already qualify for, I think it just levels the playing field for how men or women are looked at in the office."

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Liza Mundy is a senior fellow at New America, and the former director of the organization’s Breadwinning and Caregiving program. She is currently working on a book about female code breakers during World War II.