TD's Arianna Orpello Talks Parenthood, Parental Leave, and Paving the Way for Others

Arianna Orpello and her family

February 27, 2020 - Our Leaders United States

Marketing leader honored as a Working Mother of the Year

By Carmen Fleetwood Paul

Nearly five months after welcoming her second child – a daughter named Roma – Arianna Orpello, Head of Brand, Channel, Community, and Field Marketing, returned from Paid Parental Leave to find everyone at TD had survived without her.

"It was emotional, it was joyful, and it was awesome," she said about her parental leave. "And the best part was being fully present with my family and not worrying about what was happening at the office."

Arianna considers herself lucky to have taken advantage of TD's industry-leading policy, which allows eligible employees to take 16 weeks of Paid Parental Leave, and believes every parent in the U.S. should have the same opportunity.

"I think about the health of our society and all the statistics about how important it is to spend time with your newborn," she said. "Paid parental leave is really about ensuring babies are healthy and parents can thrive professionally and personally."

Since Arianna's husband, Cole, is their children's primary caregiver, parental leave was a unique chance to spend time as a foursome.

"It was really special to have that time with Nico, my three-year-old," Arianna said, who had her first child before TD's extended parental leave was introduced. "Of course, bonding with our newborn was amazing, but having that time with Nico – who was so delighted we could spend time together as a family of four – was truly a gift."

Responsibilities as a Leader

As a senior leader at TD Bank, Arianna feels a particular responsibility to be a role model to other Colleagues and especially working parents, who may decide not to take advantage of the full benefits of parental leave due to fears it may hurt their careers.

"We have to educate and talk about it openly," she explained. "It’s up to us as leaders to give permission and normalize the idea that it's a good thing to do. Ultimately, raising children is one of the most important things we can do as humans."

While Arianna may be finished having her own children – "My husband had to convince me to have a second," she jokes – she wants to make life better for working parents at TD now and in the future. One priority is ensuring that all TD office locations have a private area where mothers can comfortably and safely pump their milk.

"Breastfeeding mothers shouldn't have to pump in a restroom or in a supply closet," she said. "No mother should feel like they have nowhere to go, and I want to make sure TD is inclusive."

Changing perspective on parental leave

Arianna readily admits she wasn't always a strong advocate for parental leave. Early in her career, she didn't fully understand the demands of having a career while also being a parent.

"Parenthood changes your world and your priorities," she said. "Being a working mother has made me more empathetic, more than I ever imagined – it has changed me for the better in so many wonderful, lasting ways."

"I'm kind of embarrassed that I wasn't more supportive to working parents earlier in my career – because now, I get it. I know what a challenge it can be to balance the two."

And Arianna has done more than balance – she's excelled. Her personal and professional accomplishments have been lauded at TD and beyond. She's been recognized as a top 40 Under 40 Leader by both NJBIZ and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her TD accomplishments are well-known – she co-chairs TD's GenNext cohort, serves on the D&I Council, and led the execution of TD's renowned Unexpectedly Human brand campaign, to name a few.

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On February 27, Arianna will add another trophy to her case when she's honored by She Runs It as a Working Mother of the Year. She'll be recognized in the New-to-Motherhood category, which honors mothers whose oldest child is six or younger. The She Runs It Working Mothers of the Year Awards honor outstanding, multitasking moms who work in marketing, media and technology. The event recognizes mothers who those serve as strong role models and mentors to others, and inspire their co-workers, families and communities with their talent and tenacity.

Building a Better Society

Arianna believes TD's Parental Leave Policy is more than good for business – it's great for humanity and aligns to our brand promise.

"Whether or not you're a parent, everybody has and knows a mother, a father," she said. "I believe we're creating better humans and a better world when we give parents a chance to fully bond with their children when they need it most. This is something that, in the end, benefits everyone. It's how our society becomes a better place."

Arianna is proud to work at TD and grateful that the Bank offers this benefit.

"At TD, we pride ourselves on being the human bank – we go above and beyond for our customers, colleagues, and communities. And what better way to demonstrate Unexpectedly Human," she said. "I can't thank TD enough for providing me and my family with such an unforgettable experience."


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