With Father’s Day just around the corner, we’ve been thinking quite a bit about how men and fathers are important allies in the work that we do. Part of the discussion around here has been about the role that paternity leave could play in women’s economic security, and with the White House holding the first ever Summit on Working Dads earlier this week, paternity leave has catapulted to the national level. Earlier this year, we also saw paternity leave make national headlines when New York Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, was harshly and inappropriately criticized for taking paternity leave and missing the first two games of the season. With all of this buzz, we decided to channel our paternity leave chatter and host our first recorded staff roundtable discussion. We are so excited to share it with you and would love for each of you to join the conversation by leaving thoughts, feedback and questions in the comments section below.
To begin our staff discussion, we watched part of the, “Can We All Have it All?” TED Talk from Anne-Marie Slaughter. With her thoughts as a jumping off point, we launched head first into our discussion on paternity leave, recorded for you below. (Note: The recording has been edited for time. The staff at the table for this discussion included Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, Nicole Cozier, Donna Wiedeman, Claudia Williams, Lauren Stillwell and Jessica Zetzman.)
As the discussion unfolded, we touched on:
- The current state of paternity leave in the US
- Feedback from our own Nicole Cozier, who just returned from maternity leave, on how the lack of spousal leave means leaving a young child in the care of a stranger vs. a partner (:36)
- The model for paternity leave that exists in Sweden (1:23)
- What the lack of paternity leave at a child’s birth means for gender roles and caregiving further down the road (2:07)
- The need not only for leave when children are infants, but for more flexible schedules that encourage family engagement throughout a child’s life (4:45)
- Family leave and prioritization of work and family (7:52)
- Is “re-socializing men” the right way forward? (9:00)
- The rate at which men use or take paternity leave if it were to be made available to them (11:36)
- The economic effects on women’s future pay potential for every month that their partner takes leave (13:03)
- Effect of paternity leave on divorce rates, custody and children’s health (14:50)
If you’re interested in any of the articles or statistics we referenced, here is the Secretary of Labor’s Huffington Post Article, a great New York Times article on the effects of paternity leave in Sweden, Pew research on the increasing role of women as breadwinners and the study on the correlation of lower child mortality rates and parental leave.
We want to know: what are your thoughts on paternity leave? Think we missed something? Leave your comments below!