Last week Giles and I wrote a series of blogs which focused on celebrating motherhood and the benefits that parenting brings to their careers. This week we’re talking about men. So, the recent McKinsey study – A Fresh Look at Paternity Leave : Why the benefits extend beyond the personal – stood out as very relevant to opening up the conversation.
The study asks the questions: What if more new fathers took on caregiving responsibilities in the home? What if they began making that commitment by taking paternity leave? And what if taking that time improved the home lives and work–life balance for fathers, while also making them feel more positive about their own careers and employers?
Men who took paternity leaves resoundingly said that their experience was a positive one, despite some having concerns about what it might mean for their careers.
The personal benefits were significant;
- strengthening partnerships
- establishing the parental role from the get-go
- securing a life-long bond with your child.
And what’s really interesting are the benefits taking paternity leave brought to work and career;
- helping the spouse’s career – levelling the playing field for working mothers – taking leave helped them to support their partners’ career goals and to minimize the negative impact on career progression. One couple in a dual-career relationship said that because they were both able to take parental leave, they could “preserve our profession, identity, and nonparental value and worth, which was great for our relationship.”
- reducing the gender wage gap within households
- feeing energised as an employee; men who spend time with their children report a boost in happiness and fulfilment that may also extend to the workplace.
We believe the ideal future is where gender isn’t an issue or a barrier, but marketing can focus on ensuring the right balance of cognitive diversity. The future won’t be about what gender you are, but how you think and what you can bring to the team or leadership role that will be important.