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Yahoo's Marissa Mayer boosts paid leave for new moms, dads

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Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, who has focused much of her efforts since taking the CEO gig reshaping the company's work culture, is rolling out generous new family leave benefits that will put the tech firm in step with policies at other Silicon Valley companies.

The new policy will give mothers who have a new child via childbirth, up to 16 weeks of paid leave with benefits and fathers up to eight weeks, reported NBC Bay Area News. Both parents will receive eight weeks of paid leave for new children via adoption, foster child placement or surrogacy.

Yahoo also will give new parents $500 to spend on items aimed at making the transition easier, including house cleaning, groceries and babysitters.

The new family leave policy isn't just for Yahoo's existing workers. The company must have seen this as one more opportunity to square its policies with its rivals in an effort to attract new talent.

Analysts and advocates have cheered the new policy, which follows two hotly debated moves by Mayer in the past year: her return to work after a brief two-week maternity leave and a decision to end all telecommuting at the company. Mayer later built a private nursery for her own baby next to her office.

Earlier this year, Mayer ended the company's work-from-home policy, which was heavily criticized and was seen as a spurn against working moms.

Mayer initially didn't provide a detailed explanation for the change. However, earlier this month she said during a keynote speech at the Great Place to Work conference that the telecommuting ban aims to create a more innovative, creative workplace, even if that means productivity suffers a bit.

Mayer has made other well-received changes since she came on board, such as cutting company bureaucracy, giving employees new smartphones and instituting free food at work.

Photo: Flickr user Fortune Live Media, CC 2.0

— By on May 1, 2013, 5:54 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure