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To read Cameron’s blog on parenting, click here.


If you aren’t waking up to the reality that “gender neutral” policy isn’t working for your working fathers, check out this bomb dropped by a study out of the UK.

I ran into an old college friend at a barbecue the other day.  He has done well for himself in life: a great job in the financial sector, an amazing wife who works for a high end law firm, and three beautiful young children.  Naturally, our conversation gravitated toward fatherhood.  I asked him if he’d taken any time off for the birth of his kids.

“I took three months of parental leave for the first one,” he said.*

Another indicative essay over at FORBES by Dr. Taniv Gautam from Global People Tree.  She talks of speaking at a conference on worklife balance when a man got up and shouted:

“To all you women you think you don’t have a choice, it is really us men who don’t have a choice. I have to go out and make sure I earn a living and provide the security for my family. There is no flexibility!!”

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.

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.

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