Things are getting better for dads in Great Britain based on better paternity leave policies. How are dads faring in the U.S. based on their employer’s family-leave policies? Do Work-Family Policies Discriminate Against Men?, a recent article by Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal, tackles the “common perception: That work-family policies benefit women more than men.” A real thought-provoking article that enables you to see both sides of this issue. Additionally, Shellenbarger does a nice job of compiling several different research studies to highlight some of the equities as well as inequities. As always, special thanks to Matt for sending this our way.
Some interesting facts cited in this article:
- Among the 150 companies with babies-at-work policies tracked by the Parenting in the Workplace Institute, all allow men to bring their babies to the office under the same terms as women.
- Women are more likely than men to make use of formal flextime, part-time work and leave policies, and to bring babies to work, when permitted.
- The proportion of employers voluntarily offering paid family leave fell to 25% last year, from 30% in 2005; those offering unpaid family leave, beyond what is required by state law, fell to 20% from 25%
- the childbirth benefit that helps only women – private short-term disability insurance, which provides a few weeks off with pay to recover physically from childbirth – has held steady, with about 70% of employers offering it, the Society’s survey shows
- men now report more work-family conflict than women. Some 59% of employed fathers in dual-earner families say they suffer work-family conflict, up from 35% in 1977. That compares with 45% of working dual-earner moms, the Families and Work Institute says
Basically, as Shellenbarger points out coupled the work-family policies that are cited in the article, (and almost all other policies), they do entitle fathers as well as mothers to the benefits. So, is it an ego thing that keeps fathers from participating in bring-your-child-to-work day? Do new dads believe it is still not socially acceptable to take a child-care leave? What is your perception – do family-leave policies discriminate against men?