This article is authored by Angela Priestley and is published by Women’s Agenda.
Many of us like to believe there’s a social shift occurring that is seeing more men take on traditionally feminine roles, particularly in the home.
That’s because without such a trend, we’re unlikely to see much change when it comes to reducing the pay and leadership gaps between men and women in the paid workforce.
Part of such a trend, you’d think, would be to see an increase in the number of men becoming stay-at-home dads.
The trend is not happening.
According to the latest report of the Australian Institute of Family Study, stay-at-home dads make up less than 4% of Australia’s 75,000 two-parent, heterosexual families with children under 15. Stay at home mothers, meanwhile, account for almost a third of such families, at 31%.
Interestingly, that 4% figure correlates with the proportion of women who will soon make up the CEO roles across ASX 200 organisations. Four percent of such positions will be held by women in the coming weeks, following a couple of resignations earlier this year.
As for the dads who do stay at home, the study finds they’re doing only slightly more housework than mums who’re working 35 hour weeks.
When it comes to shifting the dial on women at work, what happens at home is as important as what’s going on in the workplace. If women continue to take on the bulk of the unpaid, domestic work, it’s hard to see how we will then have the time – and the energy – to take on an increasing number of leadership positions in the paid workforce.
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