Women and Equalities Committee’s report on fathers in the workplace shines a light on a lack of support for fathers from their employers. Contributor Chloe Chambraud, Gender Equality Director – Business in the Community:
“We fully agree that fathers do not currently get enough support from their employers to take on a greater share of caring responsibilities. Too often they are restricted from doing so by unhelpful gender stereotypes and the image of the idealised worker, completely devoted to his (full-time) job and unencumbered by family responsibilities. As a result, work-life balance is increasingly a source of stress for fathers, and millennial fathers are particularly frustrated by how much work impacts on their family lives.
“However, these stereotypes affect not only fathers and male carers, but women and employers too. We know that women still do 60 percent more domestic labour than men and that mothers take on 74 percent of childcare. As a result, the burden of care limits women’s progression at work, with many women feeling pushed into lower-paid, part-time roles in order to find a better balance. This represents a significant loss of talent – both male and female – for employers that do not adapt.
“The original enquiry from the Committee pointed to a real gap in research which Business in the Community is trying to address with its ground-breaking new Equal Lives project, in partnership with Santander UK. As part of this project we are currently running a national survey to find out more about the issues facing working men with caring responsibilities. The survey is open until 11 May, and I would encourage all men to take part. Their experiences will help us to shape recommendations for business and create workplaces that work for everyone.”