What happens to a career after a baby? Will it mean a valuable future leader will downshift or opt out?
According to recent studies, the likelihood is yes…he probably will.
You read that right…he.
Working Fathers: Today’s At-Risk Employees
Working fathers, it turns out, are employers’ newest employee retention problem. Though job and parenting conflicts have long been considered a woman’s issue, young dads on both sides of the Atlantic are expressing similar frustrations. The result is a generation of men talking with their feet.
“More than half of millennial men want to change their job for something with less responsibility and less pay,” read a Huffington Post article about the recently released Modern Family Index in the U.K., a sister study to a similar study of parents in the U.S. About a third of the U.K. dads also admitted to feeling burned out. It’s “a trade-off dads are prepared to make to get rid of the stress they face in balancing work and family life,” read the Huffington Post article.
Employee Retention: A Global Shift
The findings mirror those of the U.S. study showing some equally stressed dads on this side of the pond:
- 1 in 3 new U.S. dads felt parenthood limited their opportunities for advancement
- 31% considered quitting because of judgement from colleagues
- 69% said fatherhood will likely mean a job change
A Global Shift in Fatherhood; a Critical Challenge to Employee Retention
The U.K study, a joint venture between Bright Horizons and Working Families, illustrates a growing threat of a so-called fatherhood penalty. Like the already familiar motherhood penalty, the phenomenon forces parents into careers for which they’re overqualified and underpaid solely for the benefit of a better fit between work and family. And with fathers in both countries considering a job change, it marks a challenge for employee retention, and a cautionary tale for employers competing for talent in the current market.
“To prevent a ‘fatherhood penalty’ emerging in the UK – and to help tackle the motherhood penalty,” Working Families Chief Executive Sarah Jackson told the BBC, “employers need to ensure that work is designed in a way that helps women and men find a good work-life fit.”