Tech Firms Face Growing Resentment Toward Parent Employees During COVID-19
Over time, as Silicon Valley companies had to change the way its employees work during the COVID-19 pandemic, “an undercurrent of resentment has bubbled up across the tech industry against those splitting time between work and family, and it’s spilled out in public on employee message boards, company chat software and on social networks,” reports CNET. From the report: At Facebook, the pushback has forced COO Sheryl Sandberg, a parent herself, to defend the company’s policies. “I do believe parents have certain challenges,” Sandberg said in an August meeting, according to a report in The New York Times. “But everyone has challenges, and those challenges are very, very real.” Meanwhile, some employees at Apple, Facebook and Uber say they’re barely making it all work. More than half of 1,000 people surveyed by said they felt like they’d let down their colleagues due to juggling children and work during the pandemic. Of the respondents to the survey, published in August, 52% said they hide their childcare issues because they worry colleagues won’t understand. And 45% believe their career advancement has suffered because they’re juggling work and kids at home.

As the pandemic spread, many tech companies expanded policies to help parents deal with the sudden responsibility of caring for children while also working full time. Some, like Google and Microsoft, extended paid time off. Companies like Apple, Facebook and Uber also emphasized willingness to allow for more-variable work schedules. […] Other tech firms express the same sentiments to caregiver employees and to the press. But some employees say the companies haven’t successfully woven those feelings into their hard-charging cultures, which, before the pandemic, often included the expectation that people would endure long commutes to the office so they could be at their desks, working into the evening.

It’s led to surprising clashes within tech companies, where parent employees are learning that some managers and peers resent the benefits and flexibility parents are getting. Many parents are also reporting they need more time to finish tasks, in part because of the regular interruptions caused by children. A July survey of 1,726 active job seekers by the recruiting site ZipRecruiter found that mothers at home with school-age kids expect work hours to reduce by 9%, while fathers say they expect a drop of 5%. Taken together, these new working arrangements have led some nonparent employees to accuse the parents of being treated better by management while failing to pull their weight.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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