How DISCO’s Family-First Culture Supports Working Parents

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At DISCO, we truly believe that family comes first, which is why we were so proud to be named a Best Place for Working Parents Business by Early Matters Greater Austin. To give a glimpse of what that means in practice, we asked four Discovians to share their experience as a working parent at DISCO, and what advice they would give to parents considering a position at DISCO. 

From generous parental leave to supportive managers to equal opportunity employment to Slack channels where parents can share advice and blow off steam, here’s what they had to say.

Interested in a career at DISCO? Check out our open positions.

Ariel Zarate-Carmona

Chief of Staff, Product Delivery and mother to Ellie (11) and Mickey (8)

Prior to coming to DISCO, I left a job for a variety of reasons but one of them was I never felt comfortable bringing my kids there — it wasn’t an environment that would be welcoming. At DISCO, any time the girls would come into the office, it was always so welcoming (they love our snack wall!). Keith Zoellner (CTO of DISCO) would come out to give them high-fives. When they brought Girl Scout cookies to sell, they’d be gone in 10 seconds. 

My girls loved to come into the office. It’s amazing to be able to show your kid that where you work and who you work with can be a fun place to be.  I took my oldest to a Code2College event to see what we’re doing in the community. I took my kids to the Listing Day party — I wanted them to see how excited everyone was and I was excited to be able to share that experience with them. DISCO really shows kindness not just to employees, but to anyone who is a part of our family. 

The priority, regardless of whatever is going on at work, is always family first — and that’s how we respond when family issues come up, whether it’s an emergency or something to celebrate. 

Going into the Zoom world, it was so awesome. We also have a “Work from Home Kids” Slack group — that was a lifesaver at the beginning of the pandemic. DISCO also hosted a panel for parents to address the challenges everybody was facing. Nobody ever took my kids showing up on calls as a bad distraction. It was always, “Hi, nice to meet you!” I love that about DISCO — I love when I get to meet everyone else’s family/pets/significant others via Zoom! 

To any parents considering a position at DISCO, I would say, “Come on over!” DISCO is so welcoming and accommodating for any level of parent — whether it’s doctor’s appointments and daycare visits for a new baby or extracurricular activities for high schoolers.

Josh Kleinhuizen 

Technical Services Manager and father to Harrison (9 months)

The flexibility has been really great. My manager has three kids, and he had a baby not too long after we did, so he knows how it is. He gives me the same flexibility that he would want. 

I took a full month of parental leave. This is our first child so I really wanted to take that full month. I’m glad I did — it’s a lot to learn, and it was good to be able to support my wife during that time. Sleep is hard to come by for that first month!

Even before I was a parent, DISCO made it very clear that they wanted to be supportive of people who had kids. With the move to an all-virtual environment, DISCO has succeeded. I’ve never had any issues — if I need to hold him in the first part of a meeting, nobody’s ever been bent out of shape. We don’t have to be glued to the computer for eight hours straight — my team works together to provide coverage for each other for when life happens.

It’s been nice to know that the company is with you. Don’t ever let being a parent be a hindrance to your job — it’s an advantage coming to work at a company like DISCO that has the culture to support parents.

Meghan Marriott

Product Marketing Manager and mother to Hannah (4) and Jack (2) 

The day I found out I was pregnant with my second child in 2019, I also found out that my position at my previous company had been eliminated. Talk about a one-two punch! Not only did I immediately feel the pressure to find a new job before I started showing, but I also knew that finding an organization that would support me and my family after my baby was born would be difficult.

As I crossed into my third trimester I had pretty much given up on finding a job, much less one that offered any sort of leave. Interviewing with a visible baby bump is intimidating, and even though you legally don’t have to say anything about your “condition,” it still feels awkward. 

However, I applied for the product marketing manager role at DISCO at eight months pregnant, and I immediately felt welcomed. The team was purely focused on my work experience and what skills I could bring and not on the (as I described in my interview with my hiring manager), “the baby elephant in the room.” 

DISCO offers its employees 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave the day they begin working at the company. Unfortunately, this is not common practice even though in my opinion it should be. 

If I had to describe the culture at DISCO in one word, it would be supportive. Based only on their parental leave policy I knew that this was an organization that cared about the wellbeing of its employees and their families. When the pandemic hit, I was even more impressed with the amount of transparency, cooperation and compassion that everyone at DISCO had for each other, especially for those of us with young children at home. 

To other parents considering a position at DISCO, I would say: Apply! I think fast growing companies and law firms have a reputation for burning the midnight oil and being all hands on deck no matter what to get the job done. Since DISCO is technology that’s built for lawyers to make their jobs more efficient and enjoyable, I’ve also found it to be true about our work/life balance here. My kids have also gotten to know my colleagues (and their kids) via Zoom!

Justin Chow

Regional Sales Director and father to Astrid (5 months)

I’m extremely grateful to be around a company that is not only supportive but is thoughtful. DISCO really gave my wife and me a second family — we’re in Dallas, while the rest of our family is across the country. 

The flexibility they gave me to navigate being a first-time parent is something I’ll never forget. My daughter was in the NICU for the first week of her life, and my co-workers came out to support us in a moment of vulnerability — from phone calls to Slack messages to DoorDash meals. People go beyond what you would expect and make an effort on a personal level. My manager made sure that I was okay and felt prepared for parenthood, and my boss sent Astrid a personalized gift after she was born.

Yes, I took parental leave, but what meant more to me was the level of humanity from our leadership team. If Astrid’s daycare is closed and I text my leadership team, they will cover me. It’s not about policies, it’s about setting precedent. 

To parents looking at DISCO, I hope they understand that there are a lot of things that DISCO does that will never be captured in an online review. In the moments that matter, DISCO has shown up for me in every way, personally and professionally. It’s an environment where you can truly understand that your family comes first. That’s something I say to every new hire — if you need to take a sick day to take care of your family, do it, because those are the things that matter. We’ll cover for you. 

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Erin Russell

Erin Russell is the senior communications manager at DISCO. She has extensive experience covering tech and AI as a journalist and editor, and her bylines include Texas Monthly, Eater, and Austin Business Journal.

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