What Makes Okta a Best Workplace for Parents?

At Okta, we’ve always prioritized creating a dynamic working environment that supports employees throughout all phases of their lives - from family planning to elderly caregiving and everything in between. We have a people-first philosophy and offer a wide variety of benefits and work environments that enable employees with flexibility and choice around when, where, and how they work, so they can work in a way that works best for them. The recognition of Okta as a “Best Workplace for Parents” by Great Place to Work for the second time is an exciting confirmation of our efforts and lets us know we’re on the right track.

But don’t just take it from me! I spoke with several parents from teams across the company about what makes Okta special. Here’s what they had to say:

What is special or unique about being a parent at Okta?

Okta is extremely flexible and accommodating to the needs of parenthood in the modern day.  Trust is a central tenant of Okta's that extends to how leadership regards our productivity and time spent during the day.  If I need to go pick up my son from daycare or take a day off because our son is ill, there are no questions asked, and we are trusted to get the job done when we are able to do so. Ironically, this attitude makes me feel more committed and enabled to deliver my best work for Okta! - Chris Keyes, Customer Success Manager

At Okta, I can be proud and transparent about the responsibilities I have as a parent and how I weave those into my workday. My manager and teammates know that I block my calendar for getting my kids on and off the bus in the morning and afternoon. It's a very important part of my day and theirs!  - Alyssa Stone, Vice President, Analyst Relations

What is it about Okta’s benefits and culture that positively impacts you as a parent?

Dynamic Work is a total game-changer. Living in Kansas, I'm certainly not in a tech hub, and am so thankful to be able to do the work I love remotely so I can watch my daughter grow up surrounded by her extended family. - Shelby Cauley - Staff Content Designer

As a single mother, I often feel a sense of being overwhelmed. Sometimes when a lot of weight falls on your shoulders in your family, that overwhelmed feeling can result in worry/anxiety. I utilize the Modern Health benefits to process what is on my plate and build a strong mental health toolkit so I can approach parenthood and work with a calm and focused approach but also to be human- to express and process the many moments that I need support in processing. - Crystal Rose Morey, Sr. Manager, UX Research

The flexible and generous PTO. As a parent, and especially as a mom, I am often the one my daughter wants to cuddle with when she is sick, so I am taking time off both when she is sick as well as when I inevitably get sick. It is so nice to know I don't have to worry about running out of sick leave and that I will be able to be with her if she comes down with something, and that I can also take the time to take care of myself too. - Betsy Lines, Sr. Recruiter

How do your team and manager support your work-life balance as a parent?

I have two children, one who is autistic and 1 who suffers with very bad anxiety. The resources and health care that I have available to me and my family have been invaluable. Being flexible at work with a manager and a team member who are both very understanding when a situation arises helps me know that they are there to support me and my family when needed. - Stephanie Ferns, Senior HR Business Partner, EMEA

My manager and team are amazing. My manager has kids of her own and understands the need to step away at times. My teammates that don't have children are also extremely welcoming to my daughter and understanding if I need to shift anything to fit into our busy life schedule. - Jessica Sullivan, Program Manager, OktaU

On my team, we value each other as humans first. So when something happens in your life outside of work, we try to show up as empathetic, understanding and supportive as we can. What does that look like in real-time? Well, it means jumping in if someone needs to take a day off for themselves or their family. During times of parental leave, we develop and have clear off-ramp and on-ramp plans so folks feel capable of taking the time they need and deserve with their family. It also means sharing stories of our families with one another to surface our narratives as humans (employees and parents).  While I'm not sure balance can ever be perfectly achieved, I think when we ensure folks can take the time they need to care for their families and can share their narratives authentically with their team, we create a space where parents can feel valued and capable of thriving. - Crystal Rose Morey, Sr. Manager, UX Research

Anything else you’d like to share about being a parent at Okta?

When my son George was first diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum I didn't know of any families with two working parents who balanced therapies, careers, and the daily activities that go along with having a Neurodiverse child. Several of my friends quit careers that were meaningful to them because they felt they had to hide when they were out of the office or had to take a break to be with their child. I'm grateful every day that I have a career at Okta that I love, a team and manager who are supportive, and I can also be there for my kids. - Alyssa Stone, Vice President, Analyst Relations

Being a parent is hard, and being a single parent is even harder, but with the people-first focus on Okta, it becomes a little easier. I know that I am not expected to move mountains to complete every task handed to me within that day, I'm empowered to work during times that work for me so that I can still be present with my child, and I'm encouraged to say no when my plate is full or ask for help when I need it. I'm extremely grateful for the community and culture that Okta has brought to my little family. - Jessica Sullivan, Program Manager, OktaU

I feel so lucky and thankful to have the opportunity to work somewhere that recognizes the importance of my other job – Mom. - Shelby Cauley - Staff Content Designer

The past three years have been challenging for all of us, but parents and caregivers particularly had to overcome many unprecedented hurdles. Between the pandemic, childcare shortages, and a rising number of illnesses, parents have struggled on a regular basis to balance caregiving with their workloads. The silver lining is that these challenges have brought about some positive changes to the way we work. 

One of Okta’s core values is “Empower our People,” and we take this seriously! We strive to empower all of our employees to work in a way that enables them to be successful in their daily lives. We celebrate all of Okta’s caregivers and parents and are excited about this recognition. If you’re interested in joining our team, check out open roles here.