International Men's Day: Male staff discouraged by boss to take on parental duties if it affects their work

In light of International Men’s Day, it has been discovered that over a fifth of employers actively discourages male staff from taking on parenting duties that may affect their work.

This was discovered through culture change business, Utopia and the Hobbs Consultancy’s joint research ‘Masculinity in the Workplace.’ It found that 21 per cent of male employees say their boss actually advises them not to take on parenting duties if it may affect their work.

Only 11 per cent of bosses are comfortable with male employees taking unexpected days off due to child sickness. Just under half (49 per cent) of male staff say their employer does nothing to promote inclusivity in the workplace which they feel “leads to progressive, modern ideals like shared breadwinning and parental duties being less accessible for men.”

This majority of men (71 per cent)  feel they have to be the main provider for their family.

Daniele Fiandaca, the co-founder of Utopia, said:

Recent focus has been on the changes that women need to make to fit into a masculine workplace, when we should be focusing on creating more inclusive workplaces which work for all genders. Traditional masculine traits are still hindering modern businesses, and this research shows why we need to continue to work to build workplace cultures that are more effective and more inclusive for everyone.

Roxanne Hobbs, the founder at the Hobbs Consultancy, said:

It’s integral that everyone is able to be their authentic selves at work. The fact that men now feel they can’t balance their careers with their families is worrying – the world is changed via conversation, and until the conversation about men and family happens, men will continue to be dragged down by a system that’s inclusive in name only.

We want to create a culture in which being a male leader is synonymous with courageous vulnerability, caregiving, empathy and balanced mental health. We simply cannot talk about creating a difference with gender in the workplace without including men and making masculinity part of that discussion.

The research asked 2,001 employees across the UK, between October and November 2019.

In August 2019, it was found that dads want to have the option of embracing flexible work so they do not miss out on seeing their children grow up. Research conducted by Quinyx, a workforce management company revealed that 17 per cent of working dads feel their current work schedule means they do not get to see their children growing up. With 10 per cent of working dads calling out for flexible working to help this issue.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.