Fathers role as breadwinner

A failure to recognize the changing needs of working fathers could have a negative effect on a business’s bottom line and keep women stuck under the glass ceiling, concludes a Father’s Day study by Bettermen Solutions founder, Cameron Phillips.

The report, entitled “Work Life Balance: A Working Father’s Perspective” finds that men are stuck between paradigms. “Men today are expected and indeed want to be more involved with their children,” says Phillips, “but the traditional role of breadwinner is still making that very difficult.”

Phillips conducted interviews, focus groups and confidential surveys of 34 fathers and 47 mothers who work full time at two of Canada’s „Top 100“ employers: Vancity Savings Credit Union and Clearly Contacts. He found that 54% of working dads put “breadwinner” as their top parenting responsibility while less than 1% of working moms did. Meanwhile, 75% of working moms said they’d be willing to cut back work hours to support a spouse climbing the corporate ladder while just over 50% of dads said they would do the same.

“The easy conclusion to make would be that women are still expected to do it all while men get to focus on career, but that vastly misses the point,” states Phillips. “The unaddressed issue is that we still undervalue fatherhood and expect little will change for men in the workplace once they become dads.”

To support the claim, Phillips points to the fact that, when asked to describe how they were viewed by colleagues and employers, 50% percent of female respondents said “a working mother” while 75% of men responded simply, “a worker.”

“Until we shift workplace expectations to recognize men as working fathers with unique needs, business will suffer, moms will shoulder the load at home and career women will continue to come up against the glass ceiling.”

The project was created by Bettermen Solutions. Bettermen Solutions is a unique enterprise designed to help employers improve recruitment and retention by recognizing the changing needs of working fathers.