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National Working Parents Day: How We Support our Klaviyo Families

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It’s never been easy to be a working parent. Juggling meetings and deadlines with sick kids and school drop offs is a constant dance that many know all too well. And while we’ve all heard the old adage “family comes first”, coming from an employer, it can feel trite when not backed by tangible policy and a genuinely supportive community.

At Klaviyo, we’ve noticed that the traits that make someone a great parent also make them an outstanding team member: flexibility and willingness to adapt to changing circumstances, empathy for customers and colleagues, a collaborative spirit, and ability to problem solve on their feet. It is important to us that all Klaviyos feel able to bring their whole selves to work and recognize that a key part of this is putting support measures in place to facilitate work/life balance- especially for parents.

In honor of Working Parents Day, we’re sharing the stories of two Klaviyo parents who tell us how they’ve navigated balancing work and family with the help of our recently expanded parental leave benefits, and our newest employee resource group, the Klaviyo Family Resource Group.

In 2021, we expanded our parental leave policy to offer sixteen weeks of paid bonding time at 100% of your salary or on-target earnings when welcoming a new child into your family, through birth, adoption, or fostering. On top of paid bonding time, birthing parents receive an additional six to thirteen weeks of medical recovery time, with the first 6 weeks paid at 100% and additional time paid at 60%. As we’d hoped, this policy has been a game changer for many families at Klaviyo, including Principal Onboarding Specialist Laura Robison.

When she was approached by a Klaviyo recruiter, Laura was pregnant with her third child, and her upcoming leave was at the forefront of her mind. In her previous two pregnancies at another employer, she’d had to rush back to work before she was ready due to the company’s parental leave policy. She was interested in doing things differently this time around. When she received Klaviyo’s total rewards package, she was shocked to discover she was being offered fully paid leave, more than twice as long as she’d had with her first child. When she was offered the position, it was an easy yes.

Laura had one goal when it came to settling into her new position as a Principal Onboarding Specialist. Before going on leave, she wanted to onboard and graduate her first customer. She completed her goal on a Friday, and went into labor that night. Over the next five months at home with her son Brooks, the two enjoyed ample time to bond, leaving Laura ready to come back to work. She recalls, “I was actually excited to come back, to get a sense of identity outside of being a mom.” Her manager took care to facilitate a gentle transition back, catching her up on what she’d missed and regularly checking in to make sure Laura was feeling comfortable. 

Customer Support Manager, Chris Rignoli, had been working at Klaviyo for two years in 2019, when he and his wife decided to start a family. At that time, non-birthing parents were eligible for only three weeks paid leave. By the time baby number two came around, Chris was eligible for four months of fully paid leave, which was “unheard of” among his family and friends. “People didn’t believe me,” he laughs. When his daughter was born in October 2021, Chris opted to take his full leave at once, which meant he was home during the whirlwind newborn period, and was around for precious early milestones.

Since returning to work in January, rather than hitting the road for an hour and a half long commute, Chris walks a few steps to his home office. While his wife sleeps in, Chris enjoys time with his kids until 8:59 AM, when he logs on to start his day. Before the pandemic, his son was often asleep by the time he got home. Now, by five, he’s offline and ready for dinner and an evening walk with his family. 

Both Laura and Chris rave about the community of other parents they’ve found at Klaviyo, particularly through the #k-parents Slack channel, where parents share everything from sleep training tips to first day of school photos. Laura has become part of a group working to formalize this channel into an employee resource group for families at Klaviyo, which officially launches this month. K-FRG (Klaviyo Family Resources group) will support all Klaviyos who are part of a family: traditional, step, foster, adoptive, birth, biological, chosen, soon-to-be, hoping-to-be, and more, by working to affect positive change for families both in and outside of Klaviyo.

Karen Ostdiek, a founding member of the group, shares her hopes,“I’m looking forward to being able to help provide feedback to leadership and create a space where families and caregivers of all types can feel welcomed and supported here at Klaviyo.” We firmly believe that everyone deserves just such a space. So while the job(s) of working parents may always be hard, we are committed to providing the support that makes the balancing act just a little bit easier.

Stay tuned for more information on the Klaviyo Family Resource Group, and our other six other employee resource groups in the coming months!

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