News and Events

Working Dads: Towards Equal Caregiving

Gender equity

May 28, 2024

Preventing Violence Together (PVT) is a regional partnership of 26 organisations dedicated to ensuring women and girls in Melbourne’s west live free from violence and discrimination.

The PVT report, 'Working Dads: Towards Equal Care', shares the experiences of 155 working dads in Melbourne’s west. Through surveys, this report sheds light on the challenges and aspirations of dads in balancing work and caregiving responsibilities.

The report discusses the importance of men sharing caregiving responsibilities to achieve gender equality, with workplaces playing an important role.

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Why equal care?

Dads want to take on a more equal share of the care but face workplace culture barriers. If dads took on a more equal share of caregiving it would:

  • Break down rigid gender stereotypes that drive violence against women.
  • Lead to better mental health outcomes for families.
  • Enable women to have more access to paid work and financial security.
  • Reduce the Gender Pay Gap.
  • Result in more gender equal workplaces.

Key report findings

  • Almost half of the dads surveyed faced barriers to accessing parental leave, mainly due to workplace culture.
  • 7 in 10 dads said their workplaces had flexible work policies, but many still faced workplace culture barriers that stopped them from using them.

How work places can play a role

The report discusses the importance of men sharing caregiving responsibilities to achieve gender equality, with workplaces playing an important role.

Workplaces can:

  • Support flexible work for dads: dads who feel encouraged to use flexible work arrangements can better balance their professional and caregiving roles. Leading to better mental health outcomes for families.
  • Break down gender stereotypes: when you advocate for dads to take parental leave and share caregiving duties, it breaks down rigid gender norms (gender stereotypes) in workplaces and at home.
  • Create a supportive workplace culture: A workplace environment that empowers fathers to take necessary parental/carers leave without fear of negative consequences, ensures respect for all caregivers.

Report recommendations

‘Working Dads: Towards Equal Care’ offers 18 actions for workplaces to address gendered issues in workplace cultures and bridge the gap between policy and practice.

Key recommendations include:

  • Reviewing and implementing flexible work policies: ensuring equal opportunities for all parents to take time off for caregiving.
  • Encouraging dads to take parental leave: providing training for line managers and regular information sessions about workplace entitlements.
  • Promoting supportive workplace cultures: recognising and respecting both parents as caregivers.
If you would like to attend the report launch, click here.
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