“Today, men are spending more time on housework and on the care of children -- and both men and women are spending much less time on themselves."
I’m fairly certain most of us understand the meaning of the term “working mother,” but what is a “working father?” According to a newly released study by the Families and Work Institute, men have joined women in prioritizing family. Long thought of as the “promoters of the workplace status quo,” the study shines a new light on how men are changing the workplace environment: Working fathers are more involved with their families and are on the lookout for familyfriendly work environments. Is your organization prepared?
One of the greatest challenges to a father’s involvement in the lives of his children and family is his ability to manage the demands of work and home. On one hand, men are encouraged to be an important part of their families. On the other hand, men are held to the expectation that family will not interrupt business operations. Because of this seemingly unsolvable confl ict, fathers are in quite a bind. And while working women long ago established entire institutions to help them deal with this, men today are left to fend for themselves. We should all work to change this.
“U.S. employers are changing in response to the new demographics of the workplace, but families are changing even more, especially men,” says Ellen Gallinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute and a co-author of the National Study of the Changing Workforce. “Today, men are spending more time on housework and on the care of children -- and both men and women are spending much less time on themselves.”
Today, three out of four households are dualearner couples. Employees with families report signifi cantly higher level of interference between their jobs and their family lives than those 25 years ago. In fact, men report higher levels of interference between their jobs and their family lives than women in the same situation. In addition:
- Over half of all fathers report they are under a “great deal of stress” dealing with the pressures of work with the demands of home.
- Dads who work long hours tend to spend less time with their kids, and the negative effects grow steadily as hours at work grow.
- Fathers in dual-earner couples today spend 42 minutes more doing household chores on workdays than fathers in 1977.
- Almost half of all men would turn down a promotion if it meant less personal or family time.
- Seven out of ten men would take a pay cut for more time with family.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Fatherhood Initiative.
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