You Can’t Spell “Women And Careers” Without #MenAndCare

Doug French2020 Dad 2.0 Summit, Dad Blogger Spotlights, Fatherhood on Friday

On Wednesday we live-streamed a panel compiled by our friends at New America’s Better Life Lab, who spent the last year studying why men don’t take the paid leave they’re offered. The discussion points were familiar (as we’ve chronicled before), but they bear repeating, especially in the context of the new data they compiled.

  • Dads want to take leave, but only if their wallets can take the hit. Financial pressures are still a huge consideration, and 70% of Americans they interviewed said they simply couldn’t afford to miss the work.
  • We want to know our jobs are safe. Almost two-thirds would feel better about taking leave if they witnessed other male colleagues return without penalty.
  • We take our leave less often, even though it’s more likely to be fully paid. 52% of all men who took paid leave said their leave was fully paid, compared to just 35% of women. Which means the stigma is still a huge factor.
  • Leaves aren’t long enough. Several men said the paid leaves were “of a significantly shorter duration” than they needed or wanted. All the more reason not to jeopardize your job.
  • It’s not just for babies. Men are feeling the squeeze of the sandwich generation: 34% of men with children say they have taken leave to care for an ill, disabled, or elderly family member. 
  • The more you make, the more leave you get. Three out of four earners who make at least $100K per year receive leave that’s at least partially paid, compared to just 41% of workers making $30K or less.

Thanks to studies like this, and an earlier one from the Boston College Center For Work and Family sponsored by our friends at Dove Men+Care, the reasons are out there. The conversations have started, and the goal is clear. For the US to be so far behind the rest of the world is both embarrassing and “financially devastating.” No wonder our birth rate is the lowest in 32 years.

The two pieces of data that we think have the best chance to turn this barge around are that 1) 47% of men think taking a paid leave is manly, and 2) 84% of Americans think men who take leave do so because it’s the right thing to do. That’s the cultural shift that we need, and we’ll keep fighting for it as long as we’re in business.


Six-time Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton says “the real hero” is his dad, who took as many odd jobs as he could each week to keep the car running.

Dan Stepano built a 40-year career and now advocates for 46,000 union laborers in the United States and Canada, all because he admired his dad’s talent and work ethic.

After he became a father, Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian made the focus of The Sebastian Foundation “around families where the kids weren’t so lucky.

When your girlfriend’s dad asks about your intentions, it should surprise zero people that it’s a trick question.

An inspiration for any dad: It’s never too late to satisfy a gnawing passion (even if it has been gnawing at you for 50 years).

How does fatherhood affect male teachers? “I constantly question whether I am giving my children enough of myself, and does school get more than its pound of flesh?”

Learning PhotoShop opens up a whole new world of visual dad jokes, like this one from a dad after he bought the family’s Christmas tree.

To celebrate Father’s Day in Thailand on Thursday, one of its tallest buildings offered dads and their kids free admission to this rad roof deck

“I dealt with the fact that if I liked boys, then I’ll never have a family. And then I got used to the idea that it was never going to happen.” And then this happened.


“I didn’t expect how I would surface so many happy, buried memories—and how, as a result, I came to understand my life as being much more vivid and full.” — Steven Higashide, The Website That Remapped My Childhood

“When I took the time to analyze my African-American friends who were, like me, on this journey of fatherhood, I found that narrative didn’t have much social proof.” — Mike Dorsey (via City Dads Group), Black Fathers Need Different Narrative to Go from Good to Great

“You should also never feel guilty about what you did or didn’t do at the end. Everyone handles stressful situations differently.” — Jay Kruger, Parenting Through the Loss of a Parent

“If she develops good habits and organizational skills, those skills repurpose into building a person with better credit, who is more reliable at work and a better friend.” — Jorge Narvaez, Ways I am Preparing my TEEN to be an ADULT! [VIDEO]

“While I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have the relationships I do, I can’t help but wonder if we’d all be better served by putting a larger focus on them.” — Whit Honea (via City Dads Group), Dads In Line Getting Coffee



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Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash