The Challenges Faced By Working Dads, All In One Awesome Infographic!

This infographic with statistics compiled by the White House for the Working Fathers Summit, makes a compelling case of the importance of working dads' issues. (click to see full graphic)
This infographic with statistics compiled by the White House for the Working Fathers Summit, makes a compelling case of the importance of working dads’ issues. (click to see full graphic)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Even moreso for this awesome infographic that the White House issued as a lead-up to the recent Summit on Working Fathers and Summit on Working Families (I am proud to be a participant in both of these efforts). To me, this graphic reinforces three important messages:

  1. To Working Dads– You are not alone. Many share the same challenges that you do.
  2. To Employers– Why you can and should be part of the solution, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is good business to do so
  3. To Everyone– This graphic makes it clear that working fathers’ concerns are really important for company and public policy. The fact that the White House and so many employers are giving them increased attention is a sure sign of progress.

See below for the full infographic (or click here):

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The Smartest Things I Heard at the White House Summit on Working Fathers

Programming note. Today, I am at the main event of the White House Summit on Working Families in DC. Obama, Biden and a host of bigwigs in government and business are here. I will report out to you soon.

Dads are the greatest untapped resources in the lives of American kids- Kyle Pruitt

We live in a “Modern Family” society, but our policies are stuck in “Leave It To Beaver” mentality- Thomas Perez

On June 9th, I was honored to participate in the first ever White House Summit on Working Fathers. It was an amazing event, with so much great information and so many inspiring speakers. Here’s a short compilation of the most memorable quotes and ideas I heard during the event.

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Welcome Bloomberg Radio Listeners and HBR Readers!

If you’re a dad who works, this is a good time to celebrate. Not only because it’s Fathers’ Day, but because caring about fathers and their needs is no longer a touchy-feely, Phil Donahue kind of thing. Businesses, researchers, the media, and all manner of celebrities have been throwing the spotlight on men who enjoy … Read more

Reflections on the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families: Recognizing the Importance of Supporting Fathers

Last week, I was a featured panelist at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families. It was an amazing day filled with star power, inspiring speeches and a refreshing emphasis on the importance of supporting fatherhood. Here are some of my reflections on the day.

My panel at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families
My panel at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families

The concerns of fathers are sometimes under-represented in conversations about work and family. However, despite the fact that the Summit was organized by the Women’s Bureau of the US Department of Labor, I was very encouraged to see this was not the case- the concerns of fathers was front and center. Here are a few indicators:

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Proud to Be Part of the White House Summit on Working Families

On Monday, May 12th, I will be a panelist at the NYC Regional event that is part of the White House Summit on Working Families.

NYCworkingfamsummit

I will be part of a panel of business leaders and academics exploring private-sector solutions for working families- how businesses can play a part in helping employees balance work and family. I have been asked to speak on work-family issues in general and on fathers’ concerns. There will also be a panel looking at public-sector and legislative solutions.

The headliners at this event are Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, Thomas Perez, Secretary of the US Department of Labor, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio. Panelists include yours truly, executives from L’Oreal and Shake Shack, small business owners, NYS and NYC government officials, and public advocates for working families.

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The Best Way to Think About Work-Family Balance (Balanced Diet, Not a See-Saw)

The Benefits of Thinking About “Work-Family Balance” as a “Balanced Diet” instead of a “Balance Beam.”

Balance, as in a balanced diet... (photo: flickr, labeled for noncommercial reuse)
Balance, as in a balanced diet… (all photos: flickr, labeled for noncommercial reuse)

A balanced diet means that we eat enough of different types of food without eating too much of certain categories. Similarly, a full life means that we must tend to various parts of our lives (family, work, health, relationships, friends, hobbies, exercise, etc.), all of which are important parts of a whole.

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Google, Segmenters, Integrators and Work-Family Balance

Google found that some employees are able to separate work and non-work, while others take a more integrated approach. How this insight has practical applications for employers and employees and highlights the need for more customized work-family solutions.

I'm impressed by Google's scientific approach to work-family management
I’m impressed by Google’s scientific approach to work-family management

I recently came across an excellent HBR.org article by Lazlo Bock about gDNA–Google’s scientific approach to studying their workplace and employees. By collecting and analyzing large amounts of data, they hope to implement workplace changes that accelerate productivity and enhance employee well-being.

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Celebrating a Year of Progress on Fathers’ Work-Family Issues

While there is still much more work to be done, the past 12 months has seen a marked rise in attention being paid to fathers’ work-family issues–in media, the popular press, academia and business. Here’s my article for 1 Million for Work Flexibility on this rising tide of awareness and my thoughts on how we can build on this success.

My article at WorkFlexibility.org, the website of the advocacy movement 1 Million For Work Flexibility. (click to go to the article)
My article at WorkFlexibility.org, the website of the advocacy movement 1 Million For Work Flexibility. (click to go to the article)

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Welcome Time.com Readers!

Welcome Time.com readers. I hope you enjoyed my article, “5 Things You Should Know About Working Dads.”

Nick and I welcome you to Fathers, Work and Family!
Nick and I welcome you to Fathers, Work and Family!

For those of you who are visiting Fathers, Work and Family for the first time, feel free to have a look around. A link to my “Greatest Hits” here, links to my work at HBR, Good Men Project and HuffPo up at the top of the page, category listings along the right-hand side, and of course, buttons you can use to follow Fathers, Work and Family via email, twitter or Facebook.

High Performance and Time for Family? Be Like Darrell Green*

Darrell Green was an all-time great football player. While his teammates and coaches worked killer hours, Green kept “normal hours” to be with his family. His coaches and teammates didn’t mind. Here’s what we can learn from Green’s story.

Darrell Green hugs his son, Jared, 13, during a ceremony before his last game in 2002. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Darrell Green hugs his son, Jared, 13, during a ceremony before his last game in 2002. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

“I just lived a normal life”

I was reading this interesting ESPN.com article about how pro football players transition back into family life after the season ends. One of the recurring patterns of these athletes is that they work such incredibly long hours during training camp, pre-season and the season, often living apart from their families, and then suddenly find themselves home. Encouragingly, most rededicate themselves to being involved fathers as a way to make up for lost time.

But one anecdote stuck out to me:

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Beer Fire! Networking for Fatherhood (from the FWF vault)

Too many dads feel alone in their work-family struggles. If we spent the time on building informal support networks with fellow dads, we’d be better able to help each other. Here’s one way we do this in my neighborhood, and suggestions on how you can network for fatherhood.

Beer Fire! A fun a useful way to network with other dads
Beer Fire! A fun a useful way to network with other dads

(While I am away on a short family vacation, I thought it would be nice to post a favorite FWF article of mine from the very first week of the blog. Enjoy!)

My friend and neighbor, Francesco, who is a terrific dad, (and, more importantly, a loyal blog reader!), has a semi-regular tradition of inviting his local guy friends to hang out by the fire pit in his backyard with a cooler full of beer. We’ve come to calling this brilliant innovation BEER FIRE!

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Reader Feedback: A Top Executive Who Promotes Work-Life Balance

A Harvard Business Review blog reader’s comment demonstrates that many senior managers are supportive of work-life balance.

I expected less enlightened management philosophies from my readers. I was happy to be wrong! photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
I expected less enlightened management philosophies from some of my readers. I was happy to be wrong! photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

When I think of the older readers of the Harvard Business Review, I imagine super-smart, tough, hard-working types with old-school management philosophies. So, when I wrote my latest article for the HBR blog, entitled “How to Be a Family-Friendly Boss” I was prepared for a backlash to my “progressive” thinking about management and work-family balance.

The backlash never came.

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