The changes in the perception and implementation of paid paternity leave over the last few years have been truly remarkable. Not that long ago, the idea of offering a dad a portion of his salary to stay home and bond with his new child (rather than merely “hang out and help Mom”) virtually unheard of; now, it’s a specific employment that many top companies offer to attract and retain the best talent.
Success is seldom linear, though. And even though 89% of dads believe it’s important for companies to provide paid paternity leave benefits, only 15% of U.S. men have access to them, and fewer still take their full time off. Apart from some social impediments, sometimes the reason is simply money. Either the pay can’t sustain them, or there’s too much risk that the job they return to won’t be the same.
Enter the “Dear Future Dads” campaign from our longtime friends at Dove Men+Care.
Back in February, our six-time Title Sponsor asked our attendees to record messages to the next generation of fathers, to help them build on the work we’re all putting in now. And as Father’s Day approaches, you can see a number of them being shared on social media with the #DearFutureDads hashtag.
And throughout the next several months, you’re going to see a lot from Dove Men+Care about challenging the stereotypes and stigmas that prevent men from taking paid paternity leave. Much of that will be to create more workplace support for fathers, and to spark a cultural movement around paid paternity leave by:
- convening discussions like the one this morning with City Dads Group in New York City to drive awareness;
- helping improve policies through corporate collaboration and partnerships; and
- using their prodigious digital resources to create content (like this amazing new “Dear Future Dads” film, below) that depicts real dads reacting to the extraordinary effect fatherhood has on their lives.
And here’s the best part (yes, we’ve totally buried the lede on this): In a more tangible angle, Dove Men+Care has chosen to help alleviate the financial burden of paid leave and contributed an average of $3,300 to each of 27 active crowdfunding paid family leave requests of real dads and their families across the country.
Seriously. How cool is that?
For more about all the great stuff Dove Men+Care is doing to champion paternity leave for all fathers, visit DoveMenCare.com/PaternityLeave to learn more about the resources available to new and expectant dads. Because we’re only just beginning to understand the benefits to children, families, and communities when men take the time off work to care for a newborn.