While combining a career and parenthood is the reality for most Australian families, our latest Circle In research show that dads are still struggling to gain equal access to parental leave and flexible working.
The study of over 500 Aussie dads shows that 1 in 2 believed that their workplace wasn’t supportive in encouraging fathers to take parental leave. It also showed that 40 per cent felt their workplace parental leave policy was not equal for both men and women.
Of the 75 per cent of fathers that have taken parental leave, half have taken 1 to 2 weeks’ leave, compared to mothers who take an average 32 weeks’ parental leave, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
For those dads who had not taken parental leave, the main barriers were demands of their job (29 per cent), paid parental leave wasn’t offered (26 per cent) and a lack of a supportive workplace (22 per cent).
“Combining a career and children has become the new normal in Australian society in only a few generations. We need to strive for equality at home and in the workplace. We believe men participating equally in parental leave will have the single biggest positive impact for women.” said Kate Pollard
So what can organisations do to better support dads?
Families look very different today and we need to see more companies embracing this change and supporting working families by promoting equal access to parental leave and flexibility. Workplaces also need to focus on creating the right culture to enable dads to take leave, including more senior men role modelling extended periods of parental leave.
It’s time to move the discussion from ‘working mothers’ to ‘working parents’. We are proud to play an important role is leading this conversation.
Written by Kate Pollard, Co-founder of Circle In