Today's Dad is Not a Babysitter. He's an Engaged Parent and Ready for His Paternity Leave
While much has been written and studied about women striving to balance career and parenthood, a new survey shows that this isn't just an issue for women: dads are facing challenges too. Care@Work, the Care.com solution helping companies support their working families, conducted the new Dads@Work Survey. According to the survey, more than half of working dads (57%) feel they don't spend enough time with their children during the week, and 87% want to be more involved with the family's daily routine. And, just as moms have continued to struggle to balance their working schedules with family demands, so do dads, with only 52% feeling their companies do enough to support working parents.
"Two parents working is the new reality for most families these days, with 60% of households having no stay-at-home parent and 93% of dads working outside of the home," states Michael Marty, SVP and GM of Care@Work by Care.com. "The lines between work and life are blending, but societal and cultural conventions aren't changing fast enough to accurately reflect the lives of most families today. Our survey found that dads not only want more day-to-day involvement with their families, but also more support from their employers to make that possible. To compete for the best possible talent, today's business leader needs to build a company culture that supports both women and men as engaged parents."
"For too long, we've discussed work-family integration as a woman's issue. The fact is the vast majority of fathers care very much about their careers and are also putting in the work to be hands-on, highly involved dads," added Scott Behson, PhD, professor of management at Fairleigh Dickinson University and author of The Working Dad's Survival Guide. "The results of this important survey show how men aspire to success in their work-family juggles, providing data and recommendations for how fathers, families and employers can support working dads."
2016 DADS@WORK SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS
Beyond Your Father's Briefcase: According to the survey, fathers today view their role and priorities differently than how they viewed their father's priorities when they were growing up. Interestingly, they considered "making their children happy" the same top priority for today's dads (58%) as it was for their fathers (42%), but dads of today also prioritize good work/life balance (55%) and a healthy lifestyle for their family (47%) as what is most important (compared to their own fathers at 22% and 21%, respectively).
Family First, Then Comes Work: The 40-hour work week is a thing of the past, with a whopping 89% of dads surveyed working above that threshold and 30% working more than 50 hours a week. And even though 1 in 3 working fathers spend more than 16 hours during the work week with their children, more than half (57%) don't feel they spend enough time with them.
Flexibility for More Family Time (and Not JUST the Fun Stuff): A resounding 87% of working fathers would be more involved with their family's daily routine if their employer offered a more flexible schedule. Almost half want to be involved with every aspect of the day, with the top five activities including general playtime (73%), doctor's appointments (61%), preparing dinner for the family (59%), going to/from activities (57%), and bedtime routine (54%). It's no surprise that 85% feel their partner would be happier if they did participate more – and moms agree (86%)!
Support for Parents Isn't Just About Leave (or Moms): Nearly half of working fathers (48%) feel their employers don't do enough to support working parents, citing the lack of child care assistance (55%) and paid parental leave (50%). Furthermore, 64% of working fathers feel their company/colleagues treat moms and dads differently, offering new moms more leniency (50%) and more benefits (43%).
"Forward-thinking employers across an array of industries like Twitter, Ernst & Young, Feeding America, Etsy and so many others recognize this shift. They invest in and strive to support moms and dads equally within their organization, which helps them retain and recruit the best talent. That, in turn, reduces absenteeism and drives overall productivity and corporate performance," added Marty.
If You Build It, They Will Come: When employers do offer parental benefits or create a supportive culture for parents, dads engage. Though dad-bias still exists in the workplace, 76% of dads did not feel their co-workers/manager discounted their ability to do the job when they took time off after their child was born; however, on the flip side, that means roughly 1 in 4 did feel there was some sort of bias towards them, so there's still work to be done. Regardless, dads felt as though their company/ colleagues perceived them as supportive of the family (85%) and as an engaged father (56%). And 89% of dads who participate in their child's sports/extracurricular activities are up front with their boss/colleagues when they have to leave work to attend kid activities without fearing that doing so will negatively impact their career.
Paid Leave Matters: A staggering 95% of employed dads feel that they should have fully paid paternity leave, with 70% feeling they should receive 4 weeks or more – far more than the current norm of most employers offering no form of paid paternity leave (Society for Human Resources reports in 2015 only 17% of employers in the U.S. offer some type of paid paternity leave). However, this doesn't stop dads from taking the time they need and want. Even though only 28% of those surveyed reported having fully paid leave, 90% of dads took time off after their child was born (60% taking between 1-2 weeks).
The Dads@Work Survey from Care@Work surveyed over 750 parents (320 dads; 450 moms) during the month of May 2016 to uncover the wants and needs of today's fathers from both parents' point-of-view. Visit workplace.care.com/dadsatwork for more information about the 2016 Dads@Work Survey from Care@Work.
Since launching in 2007, Care.com (NYSE: CRCM) has been committed to solving the complex care challenges that impact families, caregivers, employers, and care service companies. Today, Care.com is the world's largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with 11.0 million families and 8.6 million caregivers* across 16 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada and parts of Western Europe, and approximately 800,000 employees of corporate clients having access to our services. Spanning child care to senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more, Care.com provides a sweeping array of services for families and caregivers to find, manage and pay for care or find employment. These include: a comprehensive suite of safety tools and resources members may use to help make more informed hiring decisions - such as third-party background check services, monitored messaging, and tips on hiring best practices; easy ways for caregivers to be paid online or via mobile app; and household payroll and tax services provided by Care.com HomePay. Care.com builds employers customized benefits packages covering child care, back up care and senior care consulting services through its Care@Work business, and serves care businesses with marketing and recruiting support. To connect families further, Care.com acquired community platforms Big Tent and Kinsights in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Care.com has offices in Berlin, Austin, New York City and the San Francisco Bay area.
*As of March 2016
Natalie Gerke, 781-795-7329
Public Relations Manager