Daddy Day Care

General Details
Network:
Cityfathers
Profession:
Professional Services
Type of leave:
Paternity
Number of years professional experience:
11-15 years
Length of leave:
2 years - 5 years
Type of experience:
Mixed
Work pattern on return:
Still on leave
Message The experience of spending time with my young children is irreplaceable and I am very lucky to have had that opportunity. At this point in time it is unfortunately hard to say that the break has been wholly worth it. The pain and stress of trying to return to the workforce is incredible. I would warn anyone considering taking time out, as if you always have a choice, to fully consider the massively detrimental career impact of doing so.

Recruiters and more so, employers seem stuck in an anachronistic model of ‘normal’ career paths. Competing for roles against or interviewing with, men who barely know their children’s birthdays let alone have ever changed a nappy is a non-starter.

Even the supposedly enlightened employers that offer Return to Work programmes still discriminate against career gaps when applying through the standard channels. The programmes help organisations fulfil senior women quotas and like the fallacy of flexible working, it’s a nice thing to put on the website to show that they really are caring and forward thinking.
As an aside, do people coming back in really need 16 weeks of hand-holding? After five years out it took me all of 30 minutes to be back up and running full speed when I eventually joined an organisation. I was looking after kids, not getting a lobotomy.

Unfortunately, until organisations start genuinely valuing career diversity and more men subsequently take time out women will continue to suffer as second class citizens in the work force.

Replies

Adeline Willis Posted On 17th Nov 2017 at 09:33
My husband took 6 months off with our first child and one month off with our second. On returning to work the first time he came back to work with no support from his firm and was expected to "just get on with it", somewhat difficult when he is in IT and all his accesses had been removed! Second time round he was supposed to take 10 weeks but was only "authorised" to take 4 weeks off. The attitude had changed massively in a 15 months from supportive to if you must attitude. Shame that a bank seemed so supporting to token lip service. At least second time round, because it was only 4 weeks none of his systems had been deleted!
Anonymous Posted On 14th Dec 2016 at 10:01
Just to say thanks very much for being a supportive Dad and partner. My husband also took a few months off after the birth of our daughter which helped enormously and now does nursery drop off every morning. Without his help I'd really struggle to hold down a decent career at all (and I'm the primary earner which would obviously effect our family enormously!). I completely agree that there is massive discrimination against men taking time out to care for their children and against women for having them in the first place, and until things become more balanced then parents will continue to struggle!
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