Culture at Braze

Growing Family Leave at Braze: It’s All About the Little Things

Jon Hecht By Jon Hecht Jun 23, 2023

In March, we welcomed our daughter Nora to this beautiful world. With a second child, much of this newborn stage was familiar—lots of snuggles, a lack of sleep, tummy time, and too many diaper changes to count. After a few months on family leave, I recently returned to Braze with gratitude for the incredible support provided to me during my time away from work. For current or future #Parents-At-Braze, and any job candidates out there, I wanted to share a little bit about my experience.

Let’s start with the US Growing Family Leave policy itself. Eligible full-time employees receive up to 16 weeks of leave along with a flexible ramp-up in returning to work (in addition to medical leave for birthing parents). The leave doesn’t need to be taken all at once either; it can be used in up to four intervals, within a rolling 12-month period. Our family decided to take about three months consecutively after Nora was born and we will be using the final allotment to spend time with close family this winter. At no point during my leave did I feel pressured to return early.

Corporate family leave policies only work if championed by company culture and leadership. Between my manager, team, #Parents-At-Braze Employee Resource Group (ERG), and cross-functional leads, I felt surrounded by people who genuinely cared about my family’s well-being. I was thrilled to discover that projects I had initiated prior to leave had either been advanced significantly or fully come to fruition. I was able to fully disconnect from work—emails, slacks, meetings—to focus on family. At the same time, I chose when to re-engage during my leave by keeping in touch with my manager about key updates and company news, all in a way that was right for me.

Reflecting on my time away from Braze, one of the most unexpected gifts has been the ability to appreciate the “right now.” Being fully present doesn’t always come naturally. I am a planner, usually seeking ways to improve and unlock future opportunities rather than immersing myself with what’s right in front of me. However, during this period away from work, I was able to fully dedicate time to my newborn daughter, my 2.5-year-old son, and my loving wife. I savored the little things that made time slow down: Taking early morning tricycle rides around the neighborhood, starting silly dance parties in the living room to the hits of Frozen 2, or simply watching my daughter smile when bouncing her on my knee. These are memories I will never forget.

I hope to carry this momentum—these little things—into my return to work. Not just with my family, but in my expanded role as a Global Director of Employer Brand and Employee Experience. I look forward to appreciating and creating more memorable moments each day with my team, manager, and friends through the organization. Knowing that I have the full support of a kind and passionate team, I am excited for all this next chapter at Braze will bring.

Interested in learning more about life at Braze? Check out our Careers page for a glimpse at our culture, values, benefits, and job openings.

Jon Hecht

Jon Hecht

Jon Hecht is a Director, Employer Brand & Employee Experience at Braze

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