Toms CEO Takes Big Step Forward for Paternity Leave

ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Aug 2015
Hero Image
Photo: Shutterstock

Offering paternity leave is one of the smartest business decisions a company can make.

That’s what Blake Mycoskie — CEO of Toms Shoes — thinks. The company’s “chief shoe giver” explained in an interview with CNN Money on Sunday.

“If a dad doesn’t take it or isn’t offered it, he’s tired,” Mycoskie says. “He’s distracted. He’s probably making bad decisions for the business, and he’s feeling guilty he’s not at home.”

Toms has offered all employees at least eight weeks of paid parental leave for a few years now. Mycoskie took 12 weeks when his son, Summit, was born, which he talked to Glamour about back in May.

“It’s an experience I wish every new dad could have, but I realize how lucky I am,” he said. “Little did I know just how much I’d grow—as a dad, a husband, and an executive—in those three short months.”

Beyond giving him the ability to care for his son, paternity leave did wonders for Mycoskie’s marriage, and his business.

“What surprised me most about paternity leave? It’s actually very romantic,” he said, explaining he and his wife Heather felt “ridiculously connected” during his leave. “As we walked—with the dogs ahead, our tiny son snug on my chest, and Heather’s hand in mine—my mind began to swirl with new ideas for Toms. Suddenly I wasn’t sad about going back to work; I was inspired, and I knew I’d return better than when I’d left. Shouldn’t all companies get to benefit from that kind of creative boost?”

Mycoskie hopes more companies will recognize the benefits parental provides both their employees and their business.

“So much of our strength comes from our families, and if we’re not investing in our families, we’re not going to be strong in business or in culture,” he tells CNN.

Plus, he believes paternity leave will be crucial in attracting millennial talent, who will be looking for perks like family leave.

Style of the Week: Hilary Duff’s Baby Luca

Elena Donovan Mauer
Contributing Writer
Published
04/03/2012

JetBlue Kicks Family of Crying Toddler Off Plane

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
07/31/2015

Zika and Birth Defects: What Pregnant Women Need to Know

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
01/19/2016

The Age When Women Start Turning Into Their Mothers, According to Survey

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
03/19/2019

The Best (and Worst) Breastfeeding Moments of 2015

Jessica Shortall
Contributing Writer
Published
12/30/2015

Ryan Reynolds Explains Why Baby James's Name Was Kept a Secret

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
03/20/2015

Flight Attendants Celebrate Couple Flying Home With Newly Adopted Baby

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/14/2020