LAUNCHPAD: Songkick pioneers equal maternity leave

The London-based live music startup reckons 'having a successful career and raising a happy family shouldn't be incompatible'. Too right.

by Emma Haslett

Trust it to be left to a woman to introduce something like this: London live music startup Songkick has brought in a new policy allowing men and women to take equal amounts of parental leave. As of today, new mothers and fathers get six weeks’ paid leave, and the option to take another 46 weeks’ leave.

Michelle You, Songkick’s co-founder, said in a blog post that the move would ‘bring the company’s benefits more in-line with what we see in Sweden’.

‘We believe that mothers and fathers should have equal right to time off early in their child’s life. We believe that unequal maternity and paternity policies reinforce society’s gendered expectations of who should bear the responsibility of parenting – that it’s primarily mom’s job to take care of the baby, not dad’s,’ she wrote.

For a startup in particular, it’s a brave move – stumping up the cash for women to take a year’s leave is hard enough for small firms, let alone men. But You says it ‘allows us to better accommodate parents and families and to put our weight behind the belief that having a successful career and raising a happy family shouldn’t be incompatible concerns’.

And in case you still weren’t convinced, here’s a Songkick-branded baby:

Available in shops soon…

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