Nadia Nagamootoo, Director of Avenir Consulting and winner of the 30% Club and Henley Business School scholarship 2014, talks about her MBA research into flexible working for fathers and why she needs as many fathers as possible to get involved with the Flexible Fathers Survey.
Solve the women’s issue? Let’s focus on men.
I became a Mum in 2014. What struck me the most about my new found circle of novice parents was both how traditional and untraditional the male/female roles were.
Without exception, it was the woman who was the primary care giver in the first six to twelve months, which is traditional. But that’s where tradition ended and from thereon in couples managed the childcare juggling act in a variety of ways. From my conversations, most modern-day fathers want to be actively engaged in bringing up their children. Some fathers decided to swap with their partner/wife to take a few weeks parental leave whilst she returned to work – my husband included. His request had never been made at his work place before, so it was a brave move that was thankfully approved.
And what a difference it made to me to return to work after nine months and ease back in knowing my daughter was happy at home with her Dad. I couldn’t do my job or have the career I desire without my husband’s ability to work from home or leave early from time to time, do the nursery pick up and then continue working after her bedtime.
And it got me thinking – society has shifted towards more women as earners and providers, and balance has started to be regained with more men as care givers, but have organisations kept up with these changing trends? To what extent does the culture support and encourage men to strike the balance between work and family that they want, thus also enabling the woman to pursue her career?
A call to all UK working fathers
We’d like answers to these questions and have launched the Flexible Fathers Survey as a result. The survey aims to assess the extent to which organisations support and encourage their male employees to embrace flexible working, and we’re trying to get views from as many UK working fathers with young children as possible.
Our survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete and will be an important contribution towards making recommendations to organisations on how they can create a positive work culture for men and women.
Please pass it on! If you know any fathers in your network please send the link their way.
Feel free to tweet about it too #FlexibleFathers