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.
Supporters of work flexibility share how it benefits them, their families and their employers.
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:
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.
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.”
Here’s something we can do to raise our voices together in support of work flexibility!
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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.
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.