An Unexpected Way To Support A Working Mother

Yes, that’s paternity leave, with a “p.” While companies may be obligated to offer parental leave to fathers after the birth of a child for bonding that is comparable to what women receive, the reality is that many workplaces don’t comply, and when they do, men simply don’t take it—or very much of it, at least. In fact, a 2014 Boston College Center for Work & Family study found only 20 percent of employees in the U.S. worked for employers offering paid paternity leave to all or most employees, and the majority of fathers take about one day of leave time for every month the typical mother takes.

“The status quo for the last several decades is that men don’t take paternity leave even when it is available to them,” says Cynthia Thomas Calvert, President of Workforce 21C and Senior Advisor to the Center for WorkLife Law, “because they are afraid—rightfully so—that it will be held against them.”

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