Launch of Being a Dad
We've been having a good run recently. Our latest launch, which I'm very proud of, is the Being a Dad programme which we've developed with the Fatherhood Institute. The theory is there will never be gender equality in the workplace until there is a bit more equality at home.
Enlightened employers should therefore give their talented men a nod and a hug in recognition of their role as working dads. Obvious, right? But very difficult as well...
HR understandably doesn't like getting too close to the domestic arrangements of its best talent. Asking HR to step out of the boardroom and look into the bedroom, well, that's not what they signed up for!
The typical professional couple
Here's the timeline of the typical everyday professional couple:
- Man and women meet and fall in love
- They share responsibilities and career ambitions
- Then child number 1 arrives and before you can say "shared parental leave" the woman has taken control of the childcare and the man has become all macho about his new status and ability to work with 3 hours' sleep.
Breaking the gender inequality cycle
If we're serious about this gender stuff then we need to break that cycle. Childcare isn't that difficult, just ask Frank Furedi. And men can be quite good at it given half the chance. Without the chance couples will never have that difficult conversation about whose career is more important and glass ceilings will remain.
That brings me on to a story. I had dinner last Friday with the inspirational Cindy Carrillo. She set up a US version of My Family Care 30 years ago and is now enjoying a life of luxury on a large Colorado ranch. Post dinner we ended up in a smart bar with a South American DJ. Cindy and her partner Matthew were some of the older people in there. But once the music started and people started salsa'ing, a flick was switched and they owned the joint.
It was like watching a couple of pros!
So what's their secret? Every night they get together, have a glass of wine and dance for 20 minutes. Every night! It's their way of setting aside some time and making sure they communicate.
Each to their own, right... Professional couples need to talk about parenting and about career ambitions and dancing might just be the key!