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Policy Update: May 1, 2015

24-kissing-couple-baby.w529.h352.2xA quick look back at events this week impacting women and families, from Valerie Young, a public policy analyst with Mom-mentum.

Massachusetts moves on paternity leave –  Already in effect is a new law which requires firms with 6 or more employees to give new father 8 weeks of paternity leave, unpaid.  Why is this significant?  Because paternity leave has the potential to shift the division of household labor years after the baby is born, good for the marriage, family economic security, and the mother’s pay parity.  “A variety of researchers have looked at this question, and what they’ve almost uniformly discovered is that fathers who take paternity leave are far more likely to assume more household responsibilities further down the road, thereby helping to diminish the possibility of future marital strife.”  So says Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun, in New York Magazine.

The world’s largest private equity firm, Blackstone Group LP, is extending its paid maternity leave from 12 to 16 weeks at full pay, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Why such a  move?  To be more competitive in attracting top female talent, and increase the percentage of women in its ranks.  Smart move.

Last month, the Cincinnati Reds announced the opening of a very comfortable lactation room at the baseball stadium to make it easier on families and breastfeeding mothers.   Now, my very own Washington Nationals have gone public with plans for a “state of the art” nursing facility to replace the designated conference room with no view of the action.  Play ball, y’all.

Getting geared up to go on maternity leave, and want to make the very most of it?  There’s an app for th– no, wait, not exactly.  It’s a webinar, not an app, by Lori Mihalich-Levin of Mindful Return. and  you can watch it here.

Follow Valerie on Facebook (Your (Wo)Man in Washington) and Twitter (@WomanInDC) and find her on the blog at Mom-mentum.

Photo: Jessica Peterson/Getty Images

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