It takes time and commitment to grow your career and you need options to put that same time and commitment into growing your family. Parental leave is just one part of this puzzle and we’re making that a reality for our people. Here are three stories and three different parental leave experiences shared by our employees.

Taking your time

Kelly-Ann Clarke

In 2019, Kelly-Ann Clarke, key leader on the AT&T legal team, took a big leap when she welcomed two children into her life.  With her plan in place to finalize the adoption in 2020, she needed to be able to make quick changes when faced with the realities of a global pandemic. She took advantage of our 12 weeks of paid parental leave for management employees and was able to make it work for her new family by splitting up how she would take this crucial time.

With options for 10-day increments, she was there for needed appointments, family time and the unexpected. “The best part about the leave was that I really got to spend time with my kids,” she said. “We had so much together time, and the leave helped provide that.” Her focus could stay on her kids knowing her AT&T team was ready and willing to take on her work seamlessly. Her message to new parents is, “take your time, you’ll never get it back.”

Supporting your family

Jason Cook

When Jason Cook, analyst in AT&T’s Talent space, prepared to welcome his second child, he and his wife opted to stagger their respective leaves.  With a built-in option of taking leave anytime within the year after a child’s birth or adoption, Jason was able to put that flexibility to work for his family. “The process was user friendly, going in and talking to my managers and laying out a game plan for taking leave, I felt very supported there,” he commented.  “Not having to worry about childcare, it was nice to separate work from family and focus on what is important.”

Without our paid parental leave policy, he would not have been able to take this time with his son, creating moments and memories.  The hardest part of coming back was a familiar story, learning to juggle two kids under one roof. With the support of his team, his day-to-day responsibilities during his leave were covered and good plans were enacted, ensuring he could catch up and jump back into the routine of his work life when he returned.

Making your plan

Jill Olickan

“AT&T encourages you to bring your most courageous self to work AND to parenting.” These powerful words come from Jill Olickan, Head of AT&T Talent Attraction and new mom herself. When making her own plan for taking parental leave, Jill was curious about what other companies offered and dove deep into the parental leave research. And her research did not disappoint – her positive takeaways when it came to her options at AT&T not only included the paid parental leave available, but also the option of continuing with unpaid leave for up to a year total.

While preparing to take her parental leave, Jill said “I felt comfortable telling my leadership that I wanted an extended time off of work.” When asking for what she needed, the response was not only receptive but supportive, ensuring that her time with her growing family could take center stage.

Parental leave is just one of the life changing benefits available when you join AT&T.  Check out our open jobs and see where your future could take you.

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