Before Workingmums, Mandy was features editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement for nearly eight years. She has also worked for the BBC and for the writers organisation International PEN. She currently divides her time between editing for WorkingMums, and acting as the press officer for a higher education institution.
A recent Workingmums.co.uk survey showed 73% of dads were considering seeking flexible working, but 72% feared their employer’s reaction if they did. In response to the demand for more equal parenting and in recognition of the links between greater equality at home and at work, Workingdads.co.uk launched in January 2019.
Campaign to get larger employers to publish their parental leave policies
The site, edited by James Millar, co-author of Dads don't babysit: towards equal parenting, includes adverts for jobs with different forms of flexibility, from flexi hours and homeworking to reduced hours and compressed hours and editorial. This includes everything from guides on employment rights, case studies of men working flexibly and employer best practice to interviews with campaigners and others, such as MP Jo Swinson, one of the main architects of Shared Parental Leave in the UK who is pushing for it to be extended to the self employed. Swinson has also been leading the campaign to get larger employers to publish their parental leave policies in the same way that their gender pay statistics. She believes that greater transparency will act as a spur for other employers to increase their offering.
Workingmums.co.uk annual survey shows many mums feel their career path is blocked due to antiquated ideas about mums and working and the fact that many still carry the main burden of domestic duties. Those same stereotypes block dads playing a more hands-on role in their children’s daily lives. One mum who was at mid manager level when she had children returned to a support role from which she has yet to progress. She said:
“I’m bored, under utilised and sick of people saying wow, you seem to know so much! Yes, I had children, not a lobotomy.”
Richard Cahill told Workingdads.co.uk about his struggle to find part-time work, saying: “Employers did not take my request for part-time work seriously, making me feel belittled at interviews when the concept was raised. Part-time jobs that I applied for were offered to me, but on full-time hours. Others queried my desire for part-time work and suggested that, being a man, I would have too much ambition for the role on offer.”
A dad-led hub
The aim of Workingdads.co.uk is to provide a dad-led hub where fathers can find the information they need and exchange views and experiences. The fact that both Workingmums.co.uk and Workingdads.co.uk are under the same umbrella means the two can work in tandem and come together on projects and events such as the Top Employer Awards and employer roundtables to promote greater equality both at home and at work.
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