VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/05/13 -- While Facebook C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg's book and Yahoo C.E.O Melissa Mayer's nursery have fanned the flames around gender equity, promoting fatherhood in the workplace is the only way to truly smash the glass ceiling, states Cameron Phillips of Bettermen Solutions.
"No matter what polices are crafted to better support working mothers," Phillips says, "unless employers address the lingering stigmas men face when assuming a more prominent parenting role, the glass ceiling won't budge."
Phillips, who points to his own 2011 study, "Work Life Balance: A Working Father's Perspective," argues that men are still groomed to believe that success and self-worth can be measured by the girth of the wallet. "This is particularly true at work," Phillips asserts. "Employers largely adhere to the antiquated notion that men are expected to sacrifice family for career, but that simply doesn't reflect the reality of dads, their spouses and their kids."
Phillips, who advises corporate clients on how adapting to the changing realities of working fathers is good for the bottom line, says the solution is not complicated.
"There are three simple things employers can do," Phillips states. "First, they must recognize the problem, even if it doesn't show up on employee surveys. Second, they can create an ongoing dialogue by designating a working father's task group, charged with devising solutions to father-specific challenges. The third is to tweak existing "gender neutral" policy to be more "father friendly" and not appear to be just for overworked moms.
Phillips argues that once men feel valued as fathers at work, they will no longer fear they are jeopardizing their careers by being more involved parents, and gender specific stereotypes will begin to fall away.
"What it all comes down to," Phillips concludes, "is that until we see a father's brand of love as equal to a mothers, and start to value that in men, men will continue define self-worth and value to family by career success, and the glass ceiling will remain stubbornly in place."
Cameron Phillips is the founder of Bettermen Solutions and is currently writing his first book, "The Daddy Hammer: How Promoting Fatherhood in the Workplace is the Key to Smashing the Glass Ceiling."
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