My office has a child care centre right next door so there are always parents and children coming and going at various times of the day. The busiest time of course is first thing in the morning. Today I noticed something I consider significant – there were more men (I assume Dads) taking children to the child care centre than women! I don’t know why I only noticed it today, because it is unlikely that this situation occurred overnight, but I couldn’t contain my pleasure and smiled broadly!
The 100% Project delivered a report on 27th June in Sydney (coming up on 2nd August in Melbourne) about Men at Work and how the majority of them fear asking for flexible work at the risk of not being seen as dedicated to their careers. Although my experience this morning doesn’t necessarily mean that Dads are asking for flexible working options, but I believe it does demonstrate that they are becoming more involved with caring for their children. A step in the right direction!
A colleague of mine recently said that we need to “deconstruct masculinity and what it means to be a man”. What I have taken from that stirring comment is that the stereo-typical male image still lingers even though their involvement in family and community is changing. Let’s stop thinking about the man as the primary breadwinner, working long hours and at arms-length from family commitments. Even more than that, men should be allowed to frame their own family and community lives without having to live to others’ perception of what their roles should be.
CROSSMARK Asia Pacific & Chair of The 100% Project