Editor’s Note: Katrina Lake is the Founder and CEO of Stitch Fix. The views expressed in this commentary are her own.

I took two 16-week maternity leaves as CEO of Stitch Fix. I was out of the office the whole time, delegating the role of steering my public company to our President and COO. I received praise for modeling parental leave for our employees while helping other young, female CEOs reimagine how they could build a family. While I was proud that Stitch Fix was leading the way, it also led me to question our leave policy and think more critically about gender equality roles within the household and the perceptions, expectations and values we pass on to our children.

Many parental leave policies today are structured around a primary/secondary caregiver model. This construct reinforces traditional gender roles in which women are typically prescribed the job of primary caregiver, shouldering the greatest burden of childcare, while the secondary caregiver, traditionally a man, spends more time working.

This construct may have made sense when fewer women participated in the labor force and most families were living off of a single-income. But today, more than 60% of households with children have two working parents, and 40% of families with children under 18 at home have mothers who earn the majority of the family income.

While generous primary caregiver leave can be seen as beneficial to women, unfortunately, the evidence shows that the distinction between primary and secondary caregiver in a parental leave policy actually disadvantages women. During this time off, women can lose access to valuable opportunities and experiences, resulting in their falling significantly behind male counterparts in career and salary progression. When women do return to work, the ‘primary’ caregiver imprint doesn’t go away. By delegating parenting as one person’s ‘primary’ responsibility, it can be harder for that person to travel or to network during evenings or weekends, women stay home caring for the child, while ‘secondary’ caregivers have time to commit to advancing in the workplace.

The lack of equality doesn’t just hurt primary caregivers. Well-intentioned secondary caregivers committed to equal parenting miss out on critical bonding time with their child. Most unsettling in this scenario is the psychological impact on children; it can reinforce outdated gender roles in their most impressionable years. In many modern families, parents view each other as equals when it comes to caregiving and careers, and companies need to do the same.

Lastly, the primary/secondary notion makes absolutely no sense in the context of evolving family compositions. Our chief people and culture officer, Jevan Soo Lenox, faced the baffling question: Would he or his husband be considered the ‘primary parent’ for their baby son? They both want to parent. They both work full-time in careers they love. Jevan’s experience, along with what we heard from other new fathers wanting to be equal caregivers, further reinforced that Stitch Fix needed to change, too.

It’s time for workplace policies to reflect the family structures and values of the future — giving equal benefits to primary and secondary parents, and all genders, regardless of how the child enters the family. At Stitch Fix, we’ve done just that by implementing universal parental leave and creating a culture where employees are encouraged to take leave. It’s so important that we model the behavior we want to see, and I’m really pleased that so many of our eligible parents have taken the opportunity to spend extended time out of the office with their families, including multiple male executives.

In my view, universal leave is one of the best ways that we can positively impact the trajectory of gender equality. By setting the stage for equal roles in early parenting and raising the next generation’s children in households where parents assume more equal roles, we are setting important norms for our children and instilling values they will take into creating their future. I want my boys to grow up with two parents who share an equal responsibility for taking care of them. Universal leave helps do that by establishing equal parenting from day one.

Companies must support all families, whatever configuration and approach families may choose. This isn’t just an employee benefit, it is a human right. Everyone should be able to take time to care for their children and build their family in a way that suits them.

When I founded Stitch Fix, I wanted to create a company that I would want to work at for the rest of my life. I have both the privilege and the responsibility of creating and cultivating a culture that supports a diverse employee base and enables them to thrive. This includes how my employees approach building their families, and universal leave is a step in that direction. I would urge other companies to implement universal leave. It’s how we’ll empower and support future generations.