Expert Perspectives: Erin Rehel on Fatherhood, Masculinity and Paternity Leave

Sociologist Erin Rehel conducted a fascinating research study on paternity leave and changing perceptions of masculinity. Here’s a Q&A with Dr. Rehel about her research and its implications for working dads.

Dr. Erin Rehel recently conducted a fascinating study about fatherhood, paternity leave and masculinity
Dr. Erin Rehel recently conducted a fascinating study about fatherhood, paternity leave and masculinity
  •  Tell us a bit about your study

My research examines the connection between fatherhood, work, social policy, and shifting ideals of masculinity in the United States and Canada. I conducted 85 interviews with fathers and their partners. I find that fathers today draw think differently about masculinity and fatherhood, but there are societal and workplace barriers that force many dads to fall back into less involved parenting roles.

In this particular study, “When Dad Stays Home Too: Paternity Leave, Gender, and Parenting,” (forthcoming in Gender & Society), I argue that when fathers experience the transition to parenthood in ways similar to mothers, through formal or informal paternity leave, they come to think about and do parenting in ways that are similar to mothers.

Paternity leave provides the space necessary for fathers to develop the parenting skills and sense of responsibility that allows them to be active co-parents rather than helpers to their female partners. This shift from a manager-helper dynamic to that of co-parenting creates opportunities for a more gender-equitable division of labor.

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Workplace Flexibility and Flexible Careers: Expert Q&A with Jeremy Anderson of Flexjobs.com

Jeremy Anderson works fully from home for FlexJobs.com, a website that matches job seekers looking for telework opportunities with flexible employers. He was nice enough to talk with me about his career, the benefits of working from home, and the state of telework in the US.  

Jeremy Anderson is an expert on telework, and was nice enough to be interviewed for Fathers, Work and Family
Jeremy Anderson is an expert on telework, and was nice enough to be interviewed for Fathers, Work and Family

Can you briefly describe what FlexJobs.com does and how the company operates?

FlexJobs is a professional jobs service to help candidates find the best flexible jobs available, safely and easily. We find flexible jobs (jobs that offer telecommuting, flexible hours, flex schedules, FT, PT, freelance and contract), screen the jobs and companies, and then only post legitimate positions. FlexJobs itself is a purely virtual company. We have staff members from California to Colorado to Florida. We even have one FlexJobs staff member living in Germany!

So, seeing as you have an entirely virtual company with all work-from-homers distributed around the country, how does the company manage and coordinate itself?

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