Ohanian: 'Serena Williams and I have tons of advantages with our daughter'

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Ohanian: 'Serena Williams and I have tons of advantages with our daughter'

The Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian thinks that introducing paid parental leave in any job would be very important for any father who wants to enjoy some free time with a new born child. Ohanian, who became parent of a daughter called Olympia with the 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in September 2017, said: "I honestly hadn’t thought much about it until my daughter was born.

At Reddit, we offered 16 weeks of leave, and, in using all of it, I saw firsthand how important it was. My wife and I have tons of advantages — help at home, supportive families, and other resources. But after the life-threatening complications she faced following childbirth, I couldn’t imagine having to leave my family for my job or being told to decide between the two.

It really hit home. I saw that this shouldn’t be a privilege afforded only to folks lucky enough to work at companies with good policies. It should be required." On the Reddit policy, Ohanian added: "When I came back to the company in 2014, after stepping back from a full-time executive role for several years, we had no HR.

Katelin Holloway was willing to come on as head of people and culture, and she brought with her a plan, including paid leave, and I thought it seemed reasonable. Within the tech industry, 16 weeks of leave is table stakes. But that speaks to an important issue.

Tech companies have these benefits because we’re in a war for talent. The reason tech companies are able to grow hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and billion-dollar valuations is because they’re attracting and retaining people who are high performers.

I’m proud that tech is on the frontline of supporting paid leave. And it should be a bellwether for other industries that want top talent, especially with technology skills. You’re going to have to attract them by offering as much or better."