Posted in Blog on May 16, 2012 by Admin
The proof just keeps coming.
Over at the Wall Street Journal last Friday, there was another article about the profound shift that men are undertaking as parents, and the struggles that go along with those changes. The studies and media attention are reflecting a new reality for working dads: Ward Cleaver is dead and the hands-on, emotionally and physically present dad is becoming the new norm.
Posted in Blog on May 08, 2012 by Admin
There was a fascinating story of a survey done at the University of Nebraska last fall which appeared in Forbes earlier this week. The survey found that “75 percent of men consider being a parent very important, while only 48 percent had the same opinion about having a successful career.” The author analyzing the data had valid questions about the number and wondered if they weren’t skewed by a growing movement of people frowning upon those who are overly preoccupied with financial success, or simply the human condition of responding to surveys as our “ideal” selves rather than our real selves.
One can argue a percentage point here and there, but these findings are none the less very significant for business. Men clearly have different views of themselves as fathers than perhaps even only a decade ago. However, my own research of a year ago showed that full time working dads place "breadwinner" as their top priority than full time working moms (51% to less than 1%.) It also demonstrated that, unwittingly, the workplace still largely clings to the antiquated notion that men are willing and happy to sacrifice time with family for career. Clearly, there is still a gap between what working dads want for themselves and their families and what is expected of them in the workplace.
Posted in Blog on September 19, 2011 by Admin
There are numerous “Women in Leadership” initiatives at various corporations, all with the same important goal—to increase the number of women in upper management positions. Not surprisingly, the many surveys and reports produced by such programs point to “a woman’s responsibility to the family” as the number one hindrance to career advancement. The ensuing solutions proposed by reports like a recent release from the Conference Board of Canada are usually similar—woman-to-woman mentorship programs, gender quotas for upper management interviews and talent identification initiatives. Astonishingly, however, while they seem to have the problem figured out, none of the reports recognizes the most obvious solution.
We need to change our expectations of working fathers.
Posted in Blog on June 15, 2011 by Admin
I’ve spent the past few months interviewing working fathers and surveying both working fathers and mothers at two of Vancouver’s most forward thinking companies. I think most of us would agree that there are some dinosaurs out there who still feel that having staff work 70 hours a week is better than 40 hours, and that it stands to reason that no one will have a happy work life balance for such an employer. But I wanted to see if the pressures that men feel and the attitudes they have are any different when they work for truly progressive employers.
Both Vancity and Clearly Contacts are Top 100 employers. Vancity, for example, offers a wage top up to 85% for all new parents for the duration of their parental leave (which is one year in Canada.) Clearly Contacts, though the world’s largest on-line distributor of glasses and contact lenses, still considers itself a young start up with progressive ideas. So what would I find at these two places of employment?
Posted in Blog on June 09, 2011 by Admin
Next week I’ll be releasing the findings of my working fathers report. For the past few months, I’ve been interviewing and surveying working fathers at two of Canada’s most famously progressive companies to find out how working dads are faring. One is Vancity, Canada’s largest credit union, who gives millions annually to amazing community projects. They also have some great policies, like topping up the salaries of all parents (moms, dads, adoptive) to 85% of their wage for the duration of their parental leave (up to a year in Canada). The other is Clearly Contacts. They are the world’s largest on line distributor of contacts and glasses and they are constantly a “Top 100 Employer” in Canada. I purposely wanted to target these companies because:
1. They were progressive enough to recognize that overlooking men’s work life balance is a bad move for business.