Trying to balance a career and being a dad is causing mental health issues and workplace tension, according to new research
Photo credit: DADult Life
Gender equality is an ongoing crusade and as women want fairer opportunities in the workplace, modern fathers want to play an increased role in their children’s lives. However, many employers aren’t catching on. A new survey from Daddilife, the UK online community for millennial dads, reveals just how many men are struggling for parental parity when it comes to workplace flexibility.
Daddilife interviewed over 2,000 British working dads between the ages of 24 and 40 as part of a millennial dads at work report. It was found that 58% of young dads are involved in day-to-day parenting – more than ever – and seek workplace flexibility as a result, which many UK employers don’t offer.
Furthermore, the study conducted alongside Deloitte also found that 63% of new dads requested revised working hours after their baby’s arrival. Meanwhile, 40% of dads overall have applied for a working pattern change, with just 44% of them achieving success.
Despite simply wanting to spend more time with their children as part of that hallowed work-life balance, dads felt like they were mistreated in the workplace. Just 56% believed they had equality with mothers at work and 45% of them regularly felt tension with their employee when trying to balance parental life with work life. Furthermore, 39% said they felt this tension with colleagues also.
Unfortunately, these strains have taken their toll on fathers’ mental wellbeing. As a result of trying to balance work responsibilities with those of being a dad, 37% said it affected their mental health. Moreover, 61% said they experienced feelings of guilt with their partner and 51% also felt this way with their children.
The report from Daddilife is part of a new online hub and campaign to raise awareness around the issues that working dads face. The community also aims to prompt intervention from the government and businesses for support. The hub provides advice for working dads seeking workplace flexibility and knowledge of their parental rights.
Han-Son Lee, founder of Daddilife, said: “Fathers are more involved in day to day parenting than ever before, yet many employers cling on to old fashioned views of society where mum stays at home and takes on the childcare while dad works all hours to provide for the family. What is clear from our research is that society is changing fast and if organisations want to retain their best employees, government and business need to drive meaningful change for a new generation of fathers.”
While women have faced backlash for trying to juggle motherhood and having a career, this research shows that men are facing the same problematic views in society. It’s apparent that employers need to step up to eliminate any stigma in the workplace in order to do the best for their employees – and their families.