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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Why So Many People Support Work Flexibility

Supporters of work flexibility share how it benefits them, their families and their employers.

1MFWF-website-badge

I am proud to be a part of One Million for Work Flexibility. I encourage you to check out their website and join in the movement.

When you sign up to voice your support, you are also asked to write in the reason for your support. Here is a random sampling of responses gathered from respondents to the 1MFWF website, split into a few categories:

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Paternity Leave is Good For Kids!

Paternity leave is not just good for dads, but also for kids. A new academic study finds that men who take paternity leave are more likely to be involved in childcare activities later on, and that their kids do better on some cognitive ability tests.

I'm so glad I got to be home with Nick when he was born! I wish every dad had the same opportunity
I’m so glad I got to be home with Nick when he was born! I wish every dad had the same opportunity

According to this article, Dr. Jennifer Baxter, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, will soon be presenting research in which she found:

1. A strong relationship between fathers’ taking paternity leave and their subsequent involvement in their children’s lives.

Baxter states, “Father’s leave is linked to more involvement in childcare activities such as helping a baby to eat, changing nappies, getting up in the night, bathing and reading to a child, compared to fathers who took no leave.”

2. Some evidence of better cognitive outcomes for kids whose fathers took paternity leave.

Baxter states, “The children of fathers who take long leave after their birth are more likely to perform better in cognitive development tests and are more likely to be prepared for school at the ages of four and five.”

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One Million for Work Flexibility

Here’s something we can do to raise our voices together in support of work flexibility!

Welcome Harvard Business Review Readers! Please take a look around this website, including the category links to the right and my writing at HBR and other outlets above. if you like what you see, you can follow this blog via facebook, twitter or email (see links to the right). Thanks for visiting!

As I noted last week, October is National Work and Family Month– an effort to raise awareness of the importance of work-family balance for employees and employers. I am happy to also be a part of a second advocacy push- One Million for Work Flexibility.

1MFWF-website-badge

One Million for Work Flexibility seeks to get, well, one million individuals and companies to voice their support for workplace flexibility. By uniting our voice, we will be better able to successfully advocate for changes to corporate and public policy.

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