Ericka's Parental Leave Experience With Uberflip!

October 26, 2018 Julie Whish

I am so excited to share this post today. I recently sat down with Ericka York, who is the Director of Sales Productivity at Uberflip. Ericka was our first ever employee to experience our amazing Parental Leave Policy and has recently returned back to work after giving birth to the cutest baby EVER, Jack.

Ericka is SO loved by her fellow Uberflippers. Everyone who knows her absolutely adores her, and people who hadn't met her yet heard nothing but incredible things about her. She was already an Uberflip "Mom" before she officially became a Mom!

Here's a high level look at what is offered for Uberflip's parental leave policy:

Uberflip's Parental Leave Policy

  • Top up to 75% of employees salary for 20 weeks
  • Return to work schedule:
    - Three day work week at full salary for the first month back to work
    - Five day work week with three work from home days for second month back to work
  • $1,000 baby cash to help with expenses such as formula, diaper, catered food services etc
  • Continued Employee Health Coverage with Empire Life

Read about Ericka's Paternity Leave experience below:

My role supports a lot of different pieces of our business. I work on initiatives to make our sales team more effective and successful in their roles, primarily in the areas of operations, enablement, and productivity.

 

I remember counting down the days until I was allowed to tell everyone that I was pregnant, around the 12 week mark of my pregnancy. There were two people in particular that I was so excited to tell - Jon and Adam, who were the other two sales leaders I worked alongside. I took them into a room to tell them and they literally jumped out of their chairs to celebrate! I felt so much support from them right away, and that continued all the way through my pregnancy and parental leave.

 

After I told Jon and Adam, Adam wanted to announce the news to the team and ran to grab an Uberflip baby onesie. He gathered the sales team for an impromptu stand up meeting and announced the news. The entire team erupted with cheers and I just remember hugging everyone and smiling like crazy. It was such a special, positive moment. I also remember passing Randy, our co-founder and CMO, in the hall that day and he gave me a huge hug and told me how happy he was to hear the news. I couldn’t have imagined a more positive reaction to my news.

 

Randy and Lisa (our Head of People) told me that while we didn’t currently have a parental leave policy at Uberflip, they were eager and excited to create an amazing policy and expressed how important it was to show how much they support parents in the workplace. I felt confident that they would come back to me with something really special, but I had no idea what to expect, as it isn’t the norm for many companies to offer anything in addition to EI.

 

Randy and Lisa continued to hint at what was to come over the next few weeks. When they walked me through the policy, and I realized how much Uberflip was investing in it, I teared up. The support I felt as a soon-to-be-parent was overwhelming. As I shared the details of the policy with friends and family, and it really started to sink in just how unique and progressive this policy was. The love and support from Uberflip continued in the months leading up to my last day before maternity leave. Our team threw me a surprise baby shower one day at work - they had balloons, cake, drinks, confetti… it was amazing. They even organized a contest to see who could guess my baby boy’s name, weight, length, and arrival date!

 

Before I knew it, my little baby boy, Jack, arrived. The first few months were incredibly challenging as I navigated this new territory and learned how to be a mom. It was an evolution for sure as I slowly became more and more comfortable in this new identity. At first, it was difficult to be away from work (in Canada, we get 12 months parental leave!); I tried to keep tabs on everything that was going on and felt I was missing out on a lot. With time, those feelings went away, and I was able to fully embrace being off and away from the office. I went from having “check in” conversations with colleagues over text, to having real, meaningful conversations, visits, and lunch dates with colleagues who became really close friends during my year away from the office.

 

As my year of parental leave came to an end, I tried to get back into the mindset of work. I felt anxious knowing I would be spending so much time away from Jack, and nervous about using my brain in different ways again. My husband was, and continues to be, incredibly supportive of my return to work, which definitely helps. And receiving so many heartfelt messages from my team before returning back made me feel excited to return to Uberflip. I never questioned my value at Uberflip while I was on leave.

 

I’ve been asked a lot what advice I’d give to new moms and dads leaving the workplace for parental leave. The biggest piece of advice I’d give is not to focus too much on what will happen at work when you’re off. At first, it was really hard for me to imagine not being at Uberflip for an entire year, and it took me some time to embrace my new role as full-time parent. Life at work goes on, and there will be amazing opportunities and challenges waiting for you once you return - I promise that. People are right when they say that you can't get that first year of your baby's life back... so be fully present and enjoy every little moment.

 

Here are some of the things we loved during our first year with Jack:

  • The Wonder Weeks. There are 10 major developmental changes that your baby goes through during their first year and a half of life. I followed along all of Jack’s major changes on this app.
  • Sprout. This app helps you track everything your baby is doing, from eating to sleeping to their medical appointments, and really helped add a lot more structure to our days right from the start.
  • Workin’ Moms.This show is seriously funny. It’s extremely relatable as new parents, and it provided some much needed humour in the early days with our little guy.
  • Building a community - I met 3 incredible women during a prenatal workout class, and then we all had our babies within one month of each other! These women were absolute lifesavers during my year off, and now that we’re all transitioning back to work, it’s helpful to have them to share stories, challenges, and wins with.

Welcome back, Ericka! Uberflip is so lucky to have you on the team and thank you for sharing such a special, important experience with everyone.

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