At Enigma, we pride ourselves on being open, generous, and supportive of one another. It’s baked into who we are and who we hire. As Enigma’s Head of People, my role is to propose, implement and manage policies that support our employees so they can thrive both inside and outside the office. To me, a central tenet of leadership is to lead from the heart. My heart changed fundamentally after becoming a mother (twice), and this in turn has fundamentally changed how I think and operate in my role at Enigma.
I have navigated the uphill terrain of transitioning into parenthood twice, including: working full-time up to my delivery date, receiving six weeks of paid parental leave (which felt all too short); taking extended unpaid leave for another 6 weeks, despite it being a financial sacrifice for my family; and returning (tearfully) to work full time, leaving my infant daughters in daycare.
I understand the financial, emotional, and physical impact of these milestones. Whatever your gender, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or race, becoming a parent is a life altering experience. At work, I believe everyone should feel supported through this transition, especially where, as an employee, one may question their ability to keep pace with colleagues and expectations.
Part of what drew me to Enigma was its values, which include generosity, and in this case, putting people first. I feel fortunate to work for a company where the leadership team is supportive of diversity, culture and people. Another draw was the potential to create HR policies that would make these values a reality. We believe when we lead with generosity, we build good will and increased discretionary effort with our employees. We also increase the likelihood that new parents choose to remain within a rigorous and engaging startup career.
To that end, I am proud to share highlights from Enigma’s recently updated parental leave program, which includes the following for all employees who have been with the company for at least 6 months:
- 20 consecutive weeks of paid leave for primary caregivers; 10 consecutive weeks of paid leave for secondary caregivers, taken in the first six months
- Up to 32 (primary) or 42 (secondary) additional consecutive weeks of unpaid leave, totaling up to a year of time off
- Continued provision of full health benefits during the entirety of leave, paid and unpaid
- $1,000 bonus for expenses after baby arrives
- Continued vesting of stock options during paid leave, and paused vesting of stock options during unpaid leave
We updated this policy because we are committed to building a culture and environment where not only our business grows, but our people do as well. I am passionate about the improvements we’ve made to our parental leave policy. I want to be part of building a great company, and this is how I believe we do that: by building a great culture, turning our core values into action, and understanding that Enigma is not only a great place to come and build a career, but also a place to lay the foundation for your future.