Here’s something you wouldn’t hear a decade ago — topics like miscarriages, domestic abuse, and mental health are carving their way into the workplace, and the charge is being led by a young female founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of the dating app Bumble.
Employees across the globe have spent the past year and a half immersing themselves in each other’s lives like never before due to quarantine and work-from-home mandates, blurring the work-life line almost completely. We saw a different side of our coworkers — where a high-level executive is also a tired mom with kids running around in the Zoom background, and the new intern is also a nervous 20-year-old living alone during quarantine. And while the work-life blur has its drawbacks, we’re beginning to notice a silver lining emerging as a result.
Enter Wolfe Herd, who is leading the charge, yet again, on redefining workplace norms. While extra PTO and collective week-long holidays throughout the year are one thing, she’s taking it one step further — shedding light on issues never addressed in the corporate world before and taking action to put policies in place.
Wolfe Herd is creating space in the workplace for traditionally considered “taboo” topics — like giving 6 months of paid leave (to employees of all genders) after the birth, adoption, or surrogacy of a child; giving 15 days minimum of compassionate leave to those suffering from a miscarriage; and empathizing with victims of domestic violence by providing a minimum of 20 days off when needed, no questions asked.
We’re outgrowing the “Google” phase of employee perks, moving beyond bean bag chairs and free snacks, and stepping into an era where deeper, meaningful support systems are built around the human beings that work for organizations, not just the employees. Wolfe Herd sets a prime example of badass, yet empathetic, female leadership, where compassion and mental health are prioritized, and difficult conversations are addressed head-on.
As we return to the “new normal”, employers and brands can take heed from the likes of Wolfe Herd and not only be a steward to their employees and company culture, but also be an authentic part of changing the narrative on how we take care of those around us.