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'Good' maternity leave programs can actually hurt women

When looking specifically at flexible work arrangements and maternity leave benefits, the research found that organizations offering them had more female employees. Yet there was another correlation: those companies also appeared to promote women into their executive ranks at a slower pace. Foto: Peter Olesen

Companies love to tout their generous maternity leaves and flexible work arrangements as evidence they're supporting their female employees. They promote perks such as company-sponsored child care and elder care benefits to show they're committed to helping women balance their lives — and therefore, to helping women stick around the workplace and move up in their careers.

But are such programs successful at better retaining and advancing women? The answer, according to a new research report, appears to be no. In some cases, these programs are slowing womens ascent to the executive ranks...

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