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Twitter CEO’s Paternity Leave Sparks Question of How Much Is Enough

Parag Agrawal says he’ll take ‘a few weeks’ of time off following the birth of his second child

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

When Twitter Inc. head Parag Agrawal said this week that he’ll take “a few weeks” off following the birth of his second child, he was praised for breaking a taboo surrounding top executives and paternity leave. Others said his plans don’t go far enough.

In a sign of how quickly norms are evolving at U.S. companies, the big question sparked by Agrawal’s announcement was why he wasn’t using more of the 20 weeks that Twitter offers. Reddit Inc. co-founder Alexis Ohanian urged Agrawal to “take the time you need.” Others noted that by taking more leave, Agrawal could reinforce to employees that it is safe for them to do the same.

“You can split parental leave up, like take a few weeks to make sure everything at home is A-OK, then take every Friday off to use the rest of the leave,” Ohanian, who has been a vocal advocate for parental leave, suggested on Twitter. His venture capital firm, Initialized, currently offers four months of parental leave to employees. In October 2021, co-founder Garry Tan said he took advantage of the full four months when it was available to him “to make sure everyone at Initialized felt like they could do it.”