Yesterday, Fatherly.com released its annual ranking of the 50 Best Employers for New Dads 2017. The list highlights large companies from many sectors that have implemented policies and programs supporting new dads and working parents.
(Disclosure: I serve as an unpaid subject matter expert for this project)
The list of best employers for new dads is especially important for showing what is possible.
- For employers, this could lead to a “race to the top” in which they compete against each other for top talent by expanding their benefits and changing their cultures.
- It can show the business community that there is no tradeoff between being a financially successful company and an accommodating employer. In fact, it makes a compelling argument that the two are self-reinforcing.
- For dads, this list can give us an idea of what leading companies are offering. We can look for employment at companies with similar policies in our job searches. Similarly, we can share this information with our bosses and HR departments and advocate for the expansion of family-supportive programs.
I also believe the annual list of best employers for new dads is important as it allows us to track progress on important father-friendly benefits. Compared to the initial listing in 2015, the average length of paid parental leave among “the 50 best” has grown from 4 weeks to 11. This is undeniable evidence that, at least for a significant percentage of large employers, we are more properly recognizing the importance of fatherhood and including dads in work-family programming.
The results of Fatherly’s list of the best employers for new dads is consistent with my recent experiences consulting with and speaking at Fortune 500 companies. I am increasingly struck by how authentically committed they are to creating a better workplace for all working parents. Certainly, these employers are works in progress and, for many, culture change is difficult due to their size, reputation, clientele and industry demands. But I have seen so much progress over the past decade. The Fatherly 50 list reinforces my optimism.
It is fantastic that so many leading companies provide excellent support to their employees. Full stop. However, I’d be remiss if the list of best employers for new dads doesn’t also make me feel impatient.
If you are fortunate enough to work for top employers like Netflix, Deloitte, Spotify and Bank of America, you already probably have the economic and social means to enjoy family life in addition to your career. By contrast, there are so many men who have more tenuous employment or are employed at companies that either don’t think they can afford to accommodate employees or choose not to. For these men, paid paternity leave, flexible scheduling and other perks are non-existent. And that’s a shame.
All dads need support because all dads are important. You shouldn’t have to work at a leading company to get the support you deserve. Until this changes, too many men face a stark choice between work and family, as opposed to being able to healthily integrate the two.
What do you think about the Fatherly 50 list of the best employers for new dads? How does your workplace compare? Let’s discuss in the comments
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