Reddit hired Siebert when she was in her third trimester and supported her through maternity leave
Now more than ever, working parents — specifically working mothers — need to be supported in the workplace. One Reddit employee’s story is a reminder of just how important this can be before, during, and after childbirth.
Elizabeth Siebert, a Senior Client Partner at Reddit, shared her experience with the company during the interview and hire process on LinkedIn, praising the organization for not allowing her pregnancy to be a talking point in the discussion.
“My 1st day at Reddit, Inc. was also the 1st day of my 3rd trimester,” Siebert wrote. “I couldn’t believe that this company was willing to take a chance on someone who was going to join & then take maternity leave, but they did. I worked at Reddit for 2 months before leaving for 5.”
Siebert explained that she, like many women, often view pregnancy, childbirth, and maternity leave as a negative because that’s how we’ve often been made to feel. Instead, she said, Reddit made her feel like her pregnancy, “wasn’t a consideration for them or me.”
“During the interview process, I shared that timing was not so good – I was pregnant!” Siebert explained. “I figured that they may want to pause conversations or look at other candidates; But no, Reddit made me feel like being pregnant shouldn’t even be on my pro/con list when deciding to join.”
Siebert said the person she interviewed with — Berit O’Connor — “championed” her throughout the process, assuring her the work would still be there when she returned from leave. On her first day back, she wanted to thank the company — voted a Best Places to Work for Moms, Dads, and Remote Working Parents by Fatherly & Scary Mommy — and to remind others that setting women up for success is better for everyone.
“Today is my 1st day back & while I’m flooded with emotions of going back to work (even if it is from home) today has been overwhelmingly positive,” the new mom wrote. “I feel so supported by my team….and feel like I’m set up for success.”
The pandemic and working mothers
Supporting working women — specifically moms — is critical. For a few months in early 2020, data showed that women outnumbered men in the U.S. workforce, a stat that took generations to achieve. Then the pandemic hit, and all the work that had been done to progress women at work — in equity, pay, and opportunity — stopped. Women, especially women of color, have been disproportionately impacted, resulting in more than 2.3 million who’ve had to opt out of the workforce — either because of layoffs or because they had to leave to care for kids no longer in school or to care for family. In December alone, women accounted for 100% of the jobs lost.
Experts predict that COVID will have a devastating impact on women, families, and the economy for decades to come. Reddit is one of many companies doing their part to support working parents by offering flexible work options along with “childcare subsidies, remote telehealth access, and 24/7 access to nurses through a dedicated helpline” to ensure their employees are being supported.
“I’m thankful to work for a company that celebrates parents and supports families,” Siebert wrote. Let’s hope other organization’s follow in Reddit’s footsteps.