10 tech giants leading the parental leave policies pack

The IT industry offers some of the U.S.'s most generous parental leave policies. Here are 10 with excellent benefits for new mothers and fathers.

parental leave data
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Tech giants leading the parental leave policies pack

The U.S. is part of an elite group: It's one the few industrialized nations that does not offer some form of mandated parental leave. However, many of the most innovative and progressive companies, in an effort to better attract and retain critical and valuable IT talent -- including more women -- are taking matters into their own hands and offering generous, fully paid parental leave policies for employees.

Not surprisingly, the IT industry is leading the way. Here are 10 IT and technology companies with excellent parental leave policies.

1. Netflix
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1. Netflix

The streaming media giant made headlines in 2015 when it announced it would offer up to 12 months of unlimited paid parental leave. The revelation that the policy was limited to employees in the company's Streaming division had many workers' rights groups and workforce management advocates up in arms.

The company revamped the policy in response to the backlash. Now, Netflix offers 16 weeks for maternity, paternity and adoptions at full pay to workers in its Streaming division; 12 weeks for maternity, paternity and adoptions at full pay to DVD division employees and 14 weeks for maternity, paternity and adoptions at full pay to Customer Service workers, according to the company.

2. Adobe
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2. Adobe

Adobe's generous parental leave policy was updated last November and offers the company's approximately 6,000 workers "16 weeks of paid time for primary caregivers, allowing new parents more time to spend bonding with their children."

This benefit includes moms and dads who have become parents through childbirth, surrogacy, adoption or foster care, according to the company. This is in addition to Adobe's Medical Leave benefit, which offers up to 10 weeks of paid leave for childbirth, surgery, a medical emergency or illness.

3. Twitter
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3. Twitter

Twitter offers 20 weeks of paid leave to mothers after they give birth and 10 weeks for new fathers. The company also holds quarterly roundtables for new and expecting parents to discuss their benefits, share stories, best practices and tips.

4. Google
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4. Google

Google offers biological mothers 18 weeks of paid leave, and up to 22 weeks of paid leave if there are complications with the birth; parents, regardless of gender, and including adoptive or surrogate caregivers, receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with their children. Non-primary caregivers receive up to seven weeks of paid leave, according to the company.

5. Facebook
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5. Facebook

When it comes to parental leave, Facebook might be the gold standard against which all other IT firms are measured. All new parents at Facebook receive four months of 100 percent paid leave, as well as $4,000 in "baby cash," according to the company. In the past year, Facebook also introduced designated breast-feeding rooms at its Menlo Park, Calif., location, and the social media giant offers financial and logistical assistance with adoption and fertility services.

6. Yahoo
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6. Yahoo

CEO Marissa Mayer has worked to expand parental leave at Yahoo ahead of many other IT companies. In April 2013, Yahoo announced it would offer 16 weeks of paid leave for mothers and eight weeks of paid time off to fathers and parents of foster, adopted or surrogate children, which can be taken any time within one year of the birth, adoption or foster-care placement. In addition, Yahoo offers $500 for baby-related expenses and $5,000 towards adoption expenses.

[ Related stories: 6 Ways to support working parents ]

7 microsoft
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7. Microsoft

Microsoft, too, updated its parental leave policies effective last November to be more in line with other software and IT heavyweights. The company now offers 12 weeks, paid at 100 percent, for all mothers and fathers of new children. "For birth mothers, this is in addition to the eight weeks of maternity disability leave they currently receive, paid at 100 percent, enabling them to now take a total of 20 weeks of fully paid leave if they choose," according to Microsoft.

In addition, Microsoft offers birth mothers the option to use short-term disability leave for two weeks prior to their scheduled due date to "manage the physical impact that often comes with late pregnancy and to prepare for the upcoming birth," the company says.

8. Spotify
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8. Spotify

Streaming music company Spotify has its roots in Sweden, a country that has some of the most generous parental leave policies in the world. But with a growing presence in the U.S. and an office in San Francisco, the company had to make some changes.

In November of 2015, the company announced that all full-time Spotify employees will be offered up to six months' parental leave with 100 percent pay. Employees will be able to take their leave any time up to the child's 3rd birthday. The global policy also retroactively applies to any employee who had children beginning in 2013, the company says.

9. Apple
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9. Apple

Apple's paid family leave policy was expanded in 2014 along with other benefit additions and expansions, and now gives expectant mothers the option to take up to four weeks leave before delivery and 14 weeks after, according to the company. Expectant fathers and other non-birth parents can take six weeks of paid parental leave.

[ Related stories: 6 ways to attract and retain female IT talent ]

10. Change.org
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10. Change.org

Change.org led the charge in challenging other IT companies to improve their parental leave offerings in 2014. The company offers 18 weeks paid leave to all new parents, regardless of gender. Change.org also offers five weeks of paid vacation, which pushes the opportunity for paid leave to 23 weeks, according to the company.