Why This Start-Up Offers Pregnant Employees $2,000 For Maternity Clothes

Photo: Garry Wade/Getty Images.
The U.S. still has lots of room for improvement when it comes to parental leave protocol, but a Utah-based start-up is hoping to improve working mothers' experience with a creative new policy — one that employees can benefit from before that bundle of joy arrives. Domo, a business-management platform, offers expectant mothers $2,000 worth of gift cards to Nordstrom, A Pea In the Pod, and ASOS — all to spend on maternity clothes, Fortune reports. The concept of a clothing stipend for moms-to-be actually began as a nice gesture by Domo founder and CEO Josh James, when his assistant was pregnant. James then decided to make it a full-fledged policy for all pregnant employees, according to TODAY. Since Domo is still a small company, it can't match parental-leave benefit packages of larger companies, such as Netflix. So, this is a way for Domo to work within its means to "[sweeten] the deal it offers new parents," the company explained to Fortune. This perk comes in addition to Domo's existing time-off policy: four weeks of paid maternity leave and two weeks paid paternity leave, plus a $1,000 baby bonus. So far, the response from employees has been positive: Five or six expectant moms have taken Domo up on the stipend since it was introduced about a year ago. "The goal is to help them feel good," Cathy Donahoe, Domo's vice president of human resources, told TODAY. "To be able to go, It's not one more thing I have to worry about." After all, maternity clothes can get pretty expensive, especially when the cost-per-wear argument is boiled down to just nine months. (Factor in all the necessary post-baby expenditures of raising a tiny, totally dependent human being, and you're doling out a lot of dough.) The start-up hopes expectant mothers see this as an opportunity to treat themselves to items they might not want to spend their own money on. Plus, the move could help boost confidence in the workplace for pregnant employees by providing means for a comfortable wardrobe during a taxing period of time. And although Domo doesn't have any funds set aside for a post-pregnancy wardrobe, we have quite a few ideas for what to wear once all that maternity garb has been stashed away.

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