The world has changed, so why hasn't the way we think about dads changed too?
The role of dad
When I became a dad for the first time I discovered an interesting disconnect. At a time when myself and numerous male colleagues and friends were choosing to play a more active care giving role in our children's lives, either by choice or necessity, much of the world around us was still geared towards a 1950s view of family. I'd never realised how much siloed gender roles and responsibilities were reflected in public services and facilities. Even within corporate work environments, many of us were seeing stereotypes of male career-ambition and incompetence in domestic affairs reflected in everyday banter through to workplace policies.
It's as if in the long overdue (and much needed) fight to establish more workplace equality for women, many organisations and governments have forgotten these policies are ultimately about supporting healthy family units as a whole. And as those family dynamics change and become less binary, we need a way to recognise and support the changing role many men will want and/or need to play in this equation as well.
Be an advocate for yourself and your family. Model what is possible and how it can benefit you and your employer.
SuitTieStroller is about empowering dads who are working professionals to play a more active role in their children's lives, as well as advocating for organisations and governments to better support the needs of modern families. All views are independent and drawn first-hand as a father and as a professional consultant working over the past 10 years in government, law firms, banks and professional service firms.
Any reference to products, organisations, publications or policies are never paid or driven by monetary interest. These are purely opinion from my own experiences and personal research that I hope others might find helpful, insightful or interesting. I hope you will share your thoughts, be inspired to find the right balance in your life and encourage your organisation and government representatives to support others in doing the same.
Did you know?
5% of dads
take primary carer (i.e. long term) leave in the first year of their child's life
6.7% increase in mum's wages
for every month a father stays on parental leave
46% of employers
offered paid parental leave for primary carers in 2016-17 (many employers don't allow dads to access this leave)
Australia ranks 16th for parental leave
in comparison to other OECD and EU countries
is the average length of paid primary carers leave offered by Australian organisations (often only offered to mums)
0.36% dads receiving PPL
Only 620 dads took the government's Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme between June 2016 and March 2017