What is the issue?
Fewer than half of the world’s countries offer any legally protected, paid paternity leave. And when it is available to them, most men don’t take it due to outdated gender stereotypes.
Evidence shows that when paternity leave is a viable option, it can improve every facet of life. At home, it unleashes the “father effect”: children see positive impact on their cognitive and social development. Women’s career prospects improve when fathers take paternity leave. In Sweden, it has been estimated that each additional month of parental leave taken by the father increases the mother’s earnings by 6.7%. Despite these benefits to paternity leave, access remains difficult. Even in countries with policies, globally less than half of fathers took as much time as their country’s policy allowed.
Paternity leave positively impacts society and economies. Because when men have the opportunity to care for themselves and others, everyone benefits.
What are we doing?
Dove Men+Care joined forces with Promundo to co-convene the Paternity Leave Corporate Task Force. The journey began at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting at Davos in 2019, bringing together leading representatives from progressive and influential global businesses, governments and NGOs to discuss how to raise awareness of the benefits of paternity leave and create lasting change at scale.
In order to turn talk into action, the Paternity Leave Corporate Task Force was formed to drive this movement forward. The Task Force brings together progressive companies, experts, public and non-profit organisations to identify, promote, accelerate and bring to scale commercially and societally sustainable solutions that will help improve access to and uptake of paternity leave for all men. Alongside founders Dove Men+Care and Promundo, members include Bank of America, Deloitte, Facebook, Twitter, Women Deliver, as well as UNICEF as a technical advisor.
The Task Force will take a systemic approach across sectors to change culture and policy to help more men take paternity leave. This supports a proven solution toward the redistribution of unpaid care work and ultimately catalyses progress in achieving gender equality (UN SDG 5).
How are we doing it?
Since the initial meeting in Davos, the group has agreed to pursue the following:
o Vision: to aspire to help create a world in which dads are enabled and empowered to take paternity leave, so the benefits of men’s care and greater gender equality are felt at home, at work and in society more widely.
o Purpose: to provide more dads with the opportunity to take paid paternity leave by promoting the adoption of supportive employer policies and helping to dismantle workplace cultural barriers and restrictive societal norms that hinder uptake.
o The Task Force will use its scale and influence to drive meaningful change by sharing good practice, raising awareness of the benefits of paternity leave for individuals, for business and for society, and encouraging better employer provision and employee take up. It has chosen to focus its efforts in three key areas: (1) corporate policy; (2) workplace culture; and (3) social norms and expectations.
How can you get involved?
Together we can work to ensure every dad gets the chance to care for the people who matter most. If you want to find out more about how you can help, contact TaskforceSecretariat@Mullenlowesalt.com.