“I want to be the dad who attends all the little league games and dance recitals, the dad who is there in the afternoon/evening to help with homework, the dad who sits down to dinner with his family every night. My current job does not allow for that to happen.” — media professional and father of two children, ages 2 and 5
With Father’s Day just around the corner, A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center has released a new report, Beyond the Breadwinner: Professional Dads Speak Out on Work and Family. This report clearly shows that work-family challenges are not just a women's issue; three out of four fathers surveyed are worried that their jobs do not allow them to be the kind of dad that want to be, and more than half say it is a source of frequent stress. The report is based on a survey of approximately 250 working fathers, largely white-collar professionals, living in 31 states and Washington D.C.
Beyond the Breadwinner features fathers describing, in their own words, the strain of balancing work and family and their desire for workplace and public policies that would give them more time and flexibility to care for their families.
- A majority of professional fathers reported that balancing work and family causes conflicts, pressure and frequent stress. Nearly 85% of respondents feel under pressure to be both a provider and an engaged parent in their children’s daily lives. Seventy-five percent of respondents worry that their jobs prevent them from having the time to be the kind of dads they want to be.
- Professional fathers overwhelmingly reported that flexible work arrangements—including flexible hours and the ability to telecommute—would personally help them to balance their work and family responsibilities. Moreover, respondents indicated that the government should do more to make it easier to meet the conflicting demands of work and home. Nearly 80% of respondents said they supported laws requiring paid family leave insurance.
- Respondents made clear that supportive managers and workplace cultures play a critical role in encouraging them to take advantage of policies that would help them balance work and family responsibilities.
- Although most professional fathers have not experienced penalties on the job for being a parent, a significant minority reported negative treatment at work due to their attempt to meet family responsibilities, especially for taking parental leave.
Beyond the Breadwinner provides new insight into professional fathers’ work-family stress and desire for workplace and public policies that allow them to play a greater role in family caregiving. "The report’s findings drive home that family-friendly workplace laws and policies are critical for all workers, as men and women alike struggle to meet the dual demands of work and home,” said Dina Bakst, an author of the report and Co-President of A Better Balance.
The full report can be found here.
About A Better Balance: A Better Balance is a national legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace and helping workers meet the conflicting demands of work and family. Through legislative advocacy, litigation, research, public education and technical assistance to state and local campaigns, A Better Balance is committed to helping workers care for their families without risking their economic security. For more, please visit our website at http://www.abetterbalance.org.