“It may sound counterintuitive, but the research—and Google’s own experience—shows a generous paid maternity leave actually increases retention,” she wrote in a Jan. 27 blog post for the Huffington Post. “When women are given a short leave, or they’re pressured to be on call, some decide it’s just not worth it to return.”

The US is the only OECD country that doesn’t mandate paid maternity leave. Just 12% of American workers have paid leave to care for a baby or sick parents.

But the tech industry is beginning to gain recognition for bucking the trend. Last year, Virgin Group and Netflix extended paid leave to a year for new parents. In November, Amazon expanded its benefits to 20 weeks of paid leave for birth mothers, with the option to share six weeks of paid leave with a partner. Gaming company Unity said earlier this month that new parents will be offered 12 weeks of paid leave, with the ability to work part-time for eight weeks while earning full-time pay.

These changes do more than to make new mothers feel welcomed in the workplace. Because turnover is costly for businesses—by one estimate it costs 20% or more of an employee’s salary to replace him or her—companies, too, benefit from keeping female employees and their expertise.

Ultimately, quitting a job to focus on motherhood—or to take up a less-demanding career—might come down to the mother’s own choice. But companies might be wise to make sure the decision isn’t so easy.

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