Small Non-Profits Can Lead on Leave Too

Girls on the Run Greater Cincinnati recently expanded its maternity leave policy. Executive Director Mary Gaertner explains why.

Empowering Girls by Empowering Families

As the Executive Director of Girls on the Run Greater Cincinnati, an organization devoted to empowering girls, it is so important to me that we are starting through the empowerment of families as a whole.

We have a unique staffing model comprised of 75% part-time staff because work-life integration is our priority. I believe that if we can’t get it right, corporate America doesn’t stand a chance. All of our staff members have the ability to flex their time and work from home as needed, but up until recently, part-time staff had to make-up for any time they took off.

If we can’t get it right, corporate America doesn’t stand a chance.Mary Gaertner, Executive Director, Girls on the Run of Greater Cincinnati

Our Paid Leave Policy

Our most recent changes continue our tradition of honoring employees by providing paid maternity leave and paid vacation days for all staff members, including part-time.

Specifically, vacation days and holidays are now on a prorated basis. And staff members are permitted to take 6-8 weeks of paid maternity leave, plus a combination of vacation time and unpaid leave, for a total of up to 12 weeks.

See the policy here.

A Step Forward

Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. But I’m happy that we’re making a step in the right direction.

As a small non-profit, we often leave “perks” behind and adapt an all-hands-on-deck mentality. However, I strongly believe we need to send the message that paid family leave isn’t a perk – it’s a necessity.

I’m proud we are part of the conversation moving this country forward.

Thanks, Mary! It’s so inspiring to see an organization like Girls on the Run Greater Cincinnati leading the way on paid leave.

Join The Breeding Ground community and #DeliverChange like Mary. Register here.


Comments 1

  1. Asa R

    I love this. My experience working in the non-profit sector for a number of years afforded me the privilege to work alongside some of the most exuberant, talented, and selfless individuals I have ever met. That being said, it was a recipe for martyrdom! There was nothing we wouldn’t do to empower our clients and be there for them. Truly, if the non-profit had not implemented great self-care and family policies I am not sure employees would have advocated for themselves because we were so focused on advocating for the at-risk youth and families we worked with! Burn out is notoriously high in social work. It was a relief, and a rare thing, to find a non-profit who did things differently.

    Way to go Mary for being a creative visionary, and taking these steps toward empowering your staff, and ultimately…changing the conversation around the country about the necessity of paid leave!

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