4 min read
Dads don’t babysit, they parent
“Helping dads to redefine their role is key to creating equality for everyone” – just one of the messages millennial-dad expert and DaddiLife founder Han-Son Lee has for employers.
To help us understand and contribute to the generational shift in how today’s dads view work and home we partnered with DaddiLife on its eye-opening research, The Millennial Dad at Work.
Its depiction of a new wave of dads, demanding more flexibility at work so their families can rewrite the rules at home, influenced the change we made to double leave for non-birthing parents last year, from two weeks to four.
Over the last year, this insight about what’s important to dads is encouraging other companies to make changes too.
The shifting role of dad
1. Generational norms and gender-role stereotypes are on the way out
87 per cent of dads surveyed said they are either mostly or fully involved in day-to-day parenting duties – and 68 per cent of dads who work full-time, who are fully involved in parenting, also have a partner who works full time.
2. There is further to go in shifting employers’ understanding
Just over half of the dads surveyed believe they are treated equally to mums with regard to flexibility at work – but two-thirds think employers recognise the need for dads to be more actively involved at home.
3. Dads who aren’t able to balance work and family life are voting with their feet
One third of dads surveyed said they had changed jobs since becoming a father - with 39 per cent of these dads pinpointing ‘flexibility to fulfil parental responsibilities’ as a reason. Another third said they were ‘actively looking’.
Source: The Millennial Dad at Work, 2019
Balancing home with work
Han-Son Lee founded DaddiLife to offer help and advice to new dads like him.
After researching the changing roles of millennial dads at home, he turned his attention to exploring how this new generation of dads are balancing these demands with work and reached out to Deloitte as a result of its reputation as a family friendly employer.
“We worked closely with DaddiLife on its UK focused research about millennial dads’ attitudes to work to develop it from the start” said Deloitte’s global inclusion leader Emma Codd “and were keen to see whether the findings reflected the changes we’ve seen among our own people, with family duties shared more equally than in the past.”
The collaboration brought together our continued commitment to agile working and DaddiLife’s expertise in a fairly new area of family policy.
“Enabling all of our people to balance their work and home lives is a huge priority for us” continued Emma.
“Collaborating on research like this is one way to keep shaping a culture and work policies and that meet the evolving needs of our people.”
A generational shift
The research clearly reflected a generational shift in which dads are re-defining their roles.
“Despite many employer policies reflecting more old-fashioned views of family life”, said Han-Son, “many dads are challenging outdated stereotypes, for example, of taking on only narrow parental duties or being ‘lazy’ at home."
“The aim was to reflect the lives of thousands of dads from the Daddilife community.”
“The response has blown me away – it’s reached over five million people, bringing this important conversation to the forefront in the media and many workplaces, which has helped to create momentum for change.”
“Last year, more organisations introduced equal parenting leave than in the previous two years combined. We hope even more will follow suit.”
“We’ve shown that employers must make meaningful change in key areas like paternity leave and flexible working if they are to retain a generation of new dads. Ultimately, we think unlocking this change holds the key to creating genuine gender equality”.
Flexible working to fit our busy lives
For six years our people have benefitted from flexible working arrangements, because we know there’s a direct link between happy, engaged colleagues and good performance.
Agile working is about where, when and how we work. Requests can be informal or formal and cover things like working reduced or flexible hours
Some of our people have formal ‘annualised days’ contracts that give them extra days off, while others take a Time Out - our award‑winning programme that allows people to take a four‑week block of unpaid leave each year.