Inside IEX
Mar 6, 2024

March 6, 2024

What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Inside Our Parental Benefits

A photo of a teddy bear, diapers and a toy on a changing table in front of a background of blue wallpaper with stars.

As I write this, it was exactly eight months ago that my daughter Zinnia was born.

It was a day that everything changed. Whew, just thinking about it is bringing me back to the thoughts and emotions that flooded through me that day.

You know what I wasn’t thinking about, though?


I love my job. I had been at IEX for more than 6 years when I had my daughter and believe me, I have spent a lot of my waking hours during those years thinking about equities, data, policy, technology, incentives. The list goes on.

But for 16 weeks, that pretty much went *poof* out of my mind. Instead, I had the privilege of being able to focus entirely on getting to know my daughter, healing my body, and building up what our lives would look like as a family of three. It’s a benefit that can’t be quantified.

And at IEX, both primary and secondary caregivers get that parental leave. As my colleague Ezra Kwak, Product Manager, Exchange, told me, “Culturally IEX was very supportive of my taking leave as a dad. I took four weeks, which was absolutely necessary to adjust to being a new parent. I didn’t feel any pressure to come back sooner. People were checking with me to see how I was doing – but everyone was really respectful of giving me that time.”

But it’s not just about the paid leave. From the moment I told my managers that I was pregnant at eight weeks! (because I was puking in the bathroom at the office!) to today, the feeling I’ve gotten from IEX during this time is one of care. From scheduling flexibility to allow me to get to my doctor’s appointments to the camaraderie with other parent colleagues who tell me their war stories to financial support for backup when our childcare has fallen through – IEX has made space for me to be my new self with work.

Nuts & Bolts

So, what are the main IEX parental benefits?

1) Parental leave: 16 weeks paid leave for primary and secondary caregivers at the birth, adoption or placement of a child. That means 100% of your energy can be spent on the new little one in your life.

And it doesn’t have to be taken all at once – just in the first year. SRE Lead for IEX Cloud, Mark Corwin’s first child was born in September 2021. He decided to take his leave in increments each quarter, two months on, one month off. “No one batted an eye,” he said. “I was able to focus on being with family and raising my kid. I’ll always remember and cherish that time, and that’s enabled by our work policy.” With his second child, expected in March of this year, he’s planning to take three months off when the baby is born, and the rest of the time later in the year.

2) Insurance: 100% employer-paid premiums for medical, dental and vision insurance for employees, spouses, and dependents. That meant less worrying about those hospital bills and Zinnia’s first pediatrician visits.

3) IEX pays for premium access to this network of childcare providers (as well as adult care, housekeepers, and pet care providers) as well as seven days of subsidized backup care for those inevitable days when your regular setup isn’t available. We found our nanny through and have used the benefit to help pay for backup care as well.

And those are just the primary pieces. Most parents (including me) use a Dependent Care FSA. Some colleagues also use One Medical as their primary care practice (IEX pays for the subscription) and other benefits like our Gympass subscription and flexible vacation policy are huge for parents. I actually used our $5,000 learning stipend to pay for a coach who specializes in helping women transition back to work after being on parental leave, and it’s been invaluable.

“We always wanted to have at least two kids, and IEX’s benefits meant that we could,” said Mark. I feel very fortunate that my employer supports me as a dad.”

The Intangibles of Returning to a Parent-Friendly Workplace

In my first meeting back with my manager after parental leave, he asked to see a picture of my daughter and asked me about how it was going. He offered tips on getting your baby to sleep and told me about what his own kids were up to.

As Ezra added, “A lot of people in leadership have kids. People like [President] Ronan Ryan and [Head of Exchange Product] Brian Rhee were examples I could look up to as a working parent. And even people who don’t have kids made an effort to ask me about how my son was doing – it really is the little stuff that makes it a supportive environment for a parent.” For example, Mark added that his colleagues have always been understanding when he has needed flexibility, if his son needs to be home from daycare unexpectedly.  He can take time off in the morning and pick up work later in the evening.

Maybe it’s a simple thing, but for me, returning to my job at IEX has meant getting the best of both worlds. I’ve joined a club of parents (you need those tips from other parents about teething) and have gotten to reacquaint myself with my individual self – someone who can talk about exchange rebate tiers with the best of ’em.

My colleagues see that my life has changed and are willing to listen to my first-time-parent updates about the unbelievable things my daughter is doing and give me leeway when I don’t respond immediately because I’ve stepped away to pump. But at the same time, they haven’t put me in a parent box and still see me as someone who can grow and take on new challenges at IEX.

It may be cliché to say, but becoming a mother really has shown me what’s important – and that can be multiple things at different times. Focusing on my family for 16 weeks didn’t mean I didn’t care about my job. Sitting down at my desk each morning doesn’t take away from my love for Zinnia – in fact, one of the reasons I do it is to show my daughter that I am doing something I’m passion about and good at. And as I continue to grow in both my career and my role as a mom in the years to come, I know I can count on IEX to see me as that full, evolving person.