Dads struggle with work-life balance

June 18, 2011 at 6:42 PM   |   Comments

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 18 (UPI) -- Fathers who have become more involved in raising their children have joined mothers in trying to balance work and home life, researchers in Canada say.

"Men today are expected and indeed want to be more involved with their children," Cameron Phillips, founder of Bettermen Solutions, says in a statement. "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.

Fifty-four percent of working dads in Canada put "breadwinner" as their top parenting responsibility while less than 1 percent of working moms did. However, 75 percent of working moms say they'd be willing to cut back work hours to support a spouse climbing the corporate ladder, but just 50 percent of dads say they would do the same, Phillips says.

"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 misses the point," Phillips says. "The unaddressed issue is that we still undervalue fatherhood and expect little will change for men in the workplace once they become dads.

"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," Phillips concludes.

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