Fathers get easier ride at work

Research in America about how working mothers fare at work (not very well it seems – see stats at end) also looked at how working fathers were treated.

It appears that working dads are held to lower performance and punctuality standards and yet more likely to be promoted than childless men with identical qualifications.

Potential clients were asked to rate their impressions of fictitious male and female McKinsey consultants some of whom were parents. The father was the only one rated as warm and competent and the mother the only one considered warm but less competent than her childless peers.

I wrote about European research on the warm v competent dimensions a few posts ago and this has similar results. So not just an American phenomenon.

However the picture changes dramatically when the American dads take time off for child care. A number of studies show that men are penalised through lower performance ratings and fewer recommendations for rewards even after taking only a short break.

Being a father doesn’t hinder career prospects until you want to play a more active role in being a dad when your career may suffer.

Men are subject to a range of sanctions such as being passed over for promotion, having people doubt their competence behind their backs, and openly being mocked about taking time off.

And those stats on working mums: chance of being hired in first place falls by 79%, and 50% less likely to be promoted than a childless woman.

It seem the image of the male breadwinner is alive and well.

Source: HBR September 2012

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