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New Study on Working Dads

Doesn't Dad Deserve a Work-Life Balance Too?

The dialogue about moms in the workplace is one that's constantly up for debate, igniting strong opinions from parents and employers alike. But what about dads? The Harvard Business Review recently shared the results of a new series of studies on how men integrate work-life responsibilities from the Boston College Center for Work & Family, and the results suggest that the American workforce isn't where it needs to be in terms of gender equity.

Here's the gist of Boston College's findings:

  • The first study, "The New Dad: Exploring Fatherhood Within a Career Context," examined a group of new dads who were hoping to adjust their roles at work in the interest of becoming more involved and engaged parents.
  • "The New Dad: Caring, Committed and Conflicted" followed up on the first study and found that for a whopping 99 percent of the dads surveyed, employers' expectations either stayed the same or increased following the births of their children. While 65 percent of the dads surveyed think that parents should share parenting responsibilities, just 30 percent found that it actually worked that way.
  • The final round of research, "The New Dad: Right at Home," took a look at stay-at-home dads who embraced their role as the primary caregiver, allowing their wives to focus on their careers and accept travel assignments, late meetings, and long hours at the office. The results of this study found that dads being at home didn't necessarily accelerate moms' careers.

Our takeaway here? While gender roles at home are a lot more fluid than they were 50, 20, or even 10 years ago, the majority of employers don't seem to acknowledge the idea of a man's role in the office needing to change in the same way that a woman's does once kids enter the picture.

What was your experience? Did your husband's approach to his career change postbaby? Did his employer offer any sort of flexibility once he became a dad?

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