Ivanka Trump announced the arrival of her third child — a son named
Theodore James — with husband Jared Kushner on Sunday.
While Trump hasn’t shared her own maternity leave plans yet, we recently spoke with the executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organisation and the head of the Ivanka Trump lifestyle brand about the benefit many American parents do not have access to.
Trump says that her company offers eight weeks of paid time off for new mothers.
“I think parental leave is enormously important — and it’s a personal decision. Part of building a company whose goal is to empower women in all aspects of life is that I’ve given my team some leeway to determine what parental leave looks like for each of them individually,” she tells Business Insider.
Currently only about 12% of American companies offer paid maternity or paternity leave, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. That’s down from 17% in 2010.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, qualifying American parents are guaranteed 12 weeks of family leave to care for a new child.
While the law requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide new parents with 12 weeks of leave, it doesn’t require this leave to be paid. In fact, the US is one of just two countries in the world that doesn’t ensure any paid time off for new mums, according to a report from the International Labour Organisation. The other is Papua New Guinea.
This FMLA is also restricted to full-time employees who have been with the company for more than a year, which, all told, applies to about 60% of workers in the US.
Just a week before giving birth, Trump shared an article with tips for preparing for maternity leave.
She advises designating a trustworthy colleague to act as a gatekeeper who can filter through any requests and determine what’s important enough to bother you with while on leave and what’s not. Trump further suggests not going off the grid completely and instead checking in with the team once a week to stay in the loop.
She also emphasises the importance of negotiating post-baby flexible work hours, something she allows her own employees to determine for themselves based on deadlines and deliverables.
“We allow people to work when and where it suits them best and makes them most productive,” she tells Business Insider.