Parental Leave and an OpenGov Hub Challenge

Development Gateway is proud to announce a new paid parental leave program. New moms and dads are eligible to take 8 weeks of parental leave at 100% of their salary after the birth or adoption of a child.

“The research is clear on the benefits of leave policies on babies and parents,” says CEO Jean-Louis Sarbib. “We’re committed to showing, with our policies and our actions, that DG is a workplace that supports staff at all stages of their lives.”

The first staff member to benefit from the program was Senior Associate Martha Staid. “To me, this policy shows that DG values our ongoing relationship and will be a place where I can balance work and family,” says Martha. "It also means a lot to be part of an organization that wants to set a progressive example, even without the resources of a large corporation."

Senior Associate Andrew Mandelbaum, who recently joined the organization, says, “This benefit shows that DG is serious about supporting families, and that organizations and companies can be successful and do right by their employees.” He adds, “This policy played a role in my decision to join DG.”

We are heartened to see recent progress towards paid parental leave in the US, spurred first by Silicon Valley companies, with several large consulting firms following suit. However, among DC-based non-profits, small to medium sized technology companies, and the federal government, Development Gateway is more the exception than the rule.

We hope DG’s example prompts reflection and action among other similar organizations, including many within earshot. DG is one of the anchors of the OpenGov Hub – a co-located network of 35+ organizations in the open government, civic engagement, and technology sector. “It seems that a lot of social sector organizations are starting to recognize how important it is to invest in staff wellbeing for their organizational effectiveness and sustainability,” says Nada Zohdy, Manager of the OpenGov Hub, “But concrete changes in policies like parental leave are only now beginning to take place.”

To spur any fellow OpenGov Hub members who may be on the fence, DG is offering to share the internal methodology and analysis that underpins our policy. Taking it a step further, we are also issuing a challenge to our OpenGov Hub neighbors – to have at least 50% of the DC-based organizations at the Hub adopt a paid parental leave policy by the end of 2016.

“We hope our example of a mobilized Hub community can feed into the broader change we’d like to see,” says Senior Associate and Staff Representative Dina Abdel-Fattah.