A Hays survey has found fifty-four per cent of Australian men believe that new fathers don’t take the full parental leave they are entitled to because of an adverse impact on their finances, while 34 per cent fear they will be viewed as less committed to their job. Meanwhile, 12 per cent say parental leave is viewed as the right and responsibility of the mother.
In the survey by recruiting experts Hays, just 19 per cent of both men and women said their organisation offers parental leave for male employees on equal terms to female employees. The majority said men in their organisation rarely take (28 per cent) or only take some (44 per cent) of the parental leave they’re entitled to.
Yet 80 per cent said shared parental leave and child rearing responsibility would help break down unconscious bias and improve gender diversity.
“We need to start offering and accepting the decision of men to work flexibly and take an equal amount of paternity leave without making assumptions about their career motivations or applying unconscious or otherwise career consequences,” said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.
“If more employers do this, it will reduce the stigma around men taking on equal caring responsibilities and could help improve female gender equality in the workplace.”
Last year Mark Zuckerberg, who made sure Facebook’s parental leave policy covered both women and men, took two months of parental leave after his daughter was born. Nick adds, “It would be great to see more men leading by example like this so that other men – and women – feel they can do the same without it impacting their career.”