‘It’s a Liability to Let New Parents Work,’ Blake Mycoskie talks Paternity Leave

When TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie and his wife had a baby, he didn’t think twice about taking paternity leave. During a recent Architects of Change Live event with Maria Shriver, Mycoskie told Shriver that he never worried about what people (or other men) would think of him taking leave.

Mycoskie told Shriver, “Everyone that works with me supported it. So I felt so much support. There was no one that was judging me.” TOMS offers 8 weeks of paid paternity leave, and many new fathers had taken advantage of this policy before Mycoskie, which he said helped with his decision to utilize the benefit himself.

[My Insecurities As a Stay at Home Dad]

The TOMS founder to Shriver there is another, business-focused reason, for his support of father’s taking some time off after the birth of child. “One of the things that I think is really interesting in the great argument for paternity leave, that I learned, is that, as anyone here who has children knows, is that you are so tired for the lack of sleep and all the things that are going on.” He added, “I actually think it’s a liability for companies to let new parents work!”

“Imagine a guy who is totally sleep deprived and now feeling guilty cause he’s not helping, here at work, trying to make major decisions that could cost the company millions of dollars,” Mycoskie said. “That’s crazy to me. I actually think it’s smart for businesses to do paid paternity leave to protect themselves from the stupid decisions that new dads would make.”

[Read Maria Shriver’s latest ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essay]

When Mycoskie decided to take paternity leave, he admitted he, himself, didn’t do much work at all. “I really went off the grid,” he told Shriver. “No email. No phone calls. No one really bothered me. The only time I would ever check in was to interview CEO candidates, because we were in the middle of that, but that was only a few times.”

While Mycoskie spoke specifically about paternity leave and his experience with it, he made sure to show his support for maternity leave as well by saying, “I just used paternity leave, but it goes for moms too.”

Watch Blake Mycoskie talk to Maria Shriver about the importance of paid paternity leave below:

And to watch Mycoskie’s entire Architects of Change Live conversation with Maria, click here.

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