Internally, at SmartCat, we joke about tough subjects in today’s society. It’s a way to harmlessly and indirectly address certain subjects. For example “gender equality” just because IT IS a touchy subject makes it an great target. Whats “funny” is that we even have to give it a name, make it a movement and work on it - it should be a standard! For those that haven’t experienced it, this type of humor is a cultural trait too - Serbian humor always involves a good dose of irony, and if it’s really good it’s has elements of a satire.
Of course, we stand for equality of all shapes and forms. We’re 2.0. We represent generation X teamed up with generation Y, and to us, everything can be examined from many sides of the flip coin. Subjects are taboo only because those afraid of change would rather have us spinning in circles. With humor we feel better, shed inhibitions to explore unusual or tough subjects and ultimately, we connect more. There have been studies that showed laughing 30 minutes a day (sincere laughing, to be precise) actually does miracles for your immune system and longevity.
So we decided to be truly equal, or at least contribute to the balance of the equation, in our own way. Instead of questioning the obvious, we asked ourselves: “how come there is no ‘paternity leave’ in the corporate world?” Shouldn’t father’s presence and assistance in the first few weeks of a newborn be just as important to the child, and especially to your spouse, during this period of adjustment and wonder of life?
In my previous blog posts about our values we demonstrated what we stand for. These are moral values that unite us. There is also a fifth value… one that is unspoken and underlying - family first.
We respect people’s life decisions and obligations. We support them in achieving their dreams not only in the office, but outside of it as well. We know that family is the most important aspect of growing up, having the right values and support can make you, while a lack of it can truly break you. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with growing up with a father and a mother, with role models, bedtime stories and life lessons. But even those tough beginnings can create magnificent people, those that break the chain. Those that transcend. Those that find love and support elsewhere and find their own way to discover that this world is truly a beautiful place, despite what our constraining surroundings or the news channel tries to make us believe.
We want to bring back the balance - let’s try to provide harmonious lives to people we care for, people we spend our time with in office or outside of it. The cornerstone of success is confidence, which comes from love and support, praise and encouragement, which starts from our very first days spent in the crib - when you are meeting the world for the first time.
Today is a very special day. Today is the first time we have successfully implemented an idea of a “paternal leave” where our colleague has just spent two weeks of paid leave to spend with his newborn and his family. We are sincerely happy for them, and to show it we wanted them to enjoy and cherish this lifetime event together.
From now on, whether you are a mother or a father at SmartCat, you deserve, no, wait... you OWE IT to your family to be together and celebrate creation of life. We’re all about family - the bonds that teach you love, support and unity, but also teach us respect, difference and tolerance.