The new stay-at-home dads
One in seven fathers are main childcarers, that’s ten times as many stay-at-home dads then ten years ago, according to research conducted by Aviva in the UK. 26 percent of the surveyed new fathers gave up work completely or changed to a part-time work pattern. Another study, from BT and the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion, exposes that about one half of fathers do at least an equal share of the childcare.
These figures show that a lot of things changed concerning the traditional role distribution: The role of parenting is getting a shared responsibility! But, are the companies well prepared for this development? Do fathers get sufficient administrative support and information e.g. concerning parental leave or flexible work arrangements? And, more importantly, are the company cultures ready to accept fathers who would like to balance their time between work and family, or is it a stigma to take parental leave or working part-time?
Two third of the interviewed fathers in the study mentioned above do not think their employers have sufficient family-friendly policies to support them – and 46 percent are willing to change the employer if this means a better fit of career and private life goals. It seems that companies have to recognize their employees in a new way: As fathers!
To care for fathers-to-be (as well as for mothers-to-be of course) should not be seen as ‘nice to have’ or starry-eyed idealism. For companies retention is an important topic in times of skilled worker shortage and to ensure an easy compatibility of family and professional life is one measure to achieve business goals. Values seem to have changed for the generations which are becoming parents now and in the years to come: they are more family-centric and prioritize family over work.
At Henkel the proportion of men who took parental leave – at least inGermany- has increased over the last years, too. This is not just the expected answer of German parental leave legislation but also the above mentioned paradigm shift. Recently a fathers group was invented within Henkel’s parent’s network at the Düsseldorf side.
At Henkel, the proportion of fathers who took parental leave – at least inGermany– also significantly increased in recent years. This expected improvement is not only because the changed legislation since 2007, but the above described paradigm shift: Fathers want to spend more quality time with their children. Recently, a fathers group was formed in the context of Henkel’s parent’s network in Düsseldorf. The intention of this group is to exchange experiences among fathers.