Yesterday new research was published by Deloitte about the millennial father (I am going to forgive the terrible title on the basis that the data is interesting). You can find the report here.
The research looks at the experience of working fathers. Here’s a few points of note from the data that stood out for me.
- 1/3 of fathers surveyed reported having left a job for one which will allow them to spend more time with their children.
- Another 1/3 of fathers are currently looking to do just the same.
- Only 1 in 5 of those who requested flexible working had their request approved.
- A 1/3 of fathers experience tension when needing time off to attend appointments or illnesses.
- The tension felt by fathers doesn’t just come from the organisation itself (and its managers) but colleagues too.
- 37% of fathers say that they have experienced negative impacts on their mental health as a result of trying to balance work and being a parent.
- Guilt is a prominent emotion for fathers – guilt with line managers, partners, children, colleagues.
This headline findings within this report are loud and clear.
This is a talent issue.
This is a wellbeing issue.
This is a 2019 issue.
I’ve talked to fathers who have been subject to banter, inappropriate pressure and outright discrimination for wanting to work more flexibly, do the school run or take shared parental leave. The not-so-subtle glance at the watch, the casual ‘part-timer’ comment.
This is Not Good Enough.
Few fathers really want the old model of fatherhood of the semi-absent dad, doing all the long hours and leaving the wife to go the school events. Dads want to be involved in their kids lives – shock.
But the old attitudes within organisations and too many individuals still exist.
Many employees now understand that there’s more to life than work. Now it’s time for employers who haven’t realised this too, to catch up – or lose your talent.
This really isn’t hard unless we make it so.
The report tells us what fathers want. More flexible working, better policies, improved manager attitudes and behaviours, more information on the leave and pay available to them.
Shall we just get on with it?