Guest blog written by Josh Levs who will speak at Power Shift 2015 this Tuesday
At many workplaces around the world, dads are suffering in the shadows. Their families need them home more for caregiving, but they can’t admit that to managers or even colleagues. It breaks from an outdated macho stereotype, and sends the message that — gasp — family might matter to them even more than the job.
This struggle is a central force holding back women in business.
Laws, workplace policies, and stigmas act as gender police. They push men to stay at work for more and more hours, and to give up paternity leave when it’s offered. These same structures push women to stay home.
It’s a problem I know well. I couldn’t be home to care for my preemie daughter, sick wife, and two boys because of the backward thinking that plagues traditionalist thinking at work.
The United States is a strong example of this. Women make up nearly half the workforce at its lowest levels. But when you look higher up the corporate ladder, the number of women shrinks dramatically. Less than 5% of the CEOs in the S&P 500 are women.
Global studies demonstrate that gender-neutral policies and an environment that encourages gender-neutral thinking are not just good, they’re necessary. Businesses do best when they have the best minds in the right jobs, whether men or women.
We’ll talk about this at Power Shift. I hope you’ll join us for a session called The Market for Families. This crucial discussion must be brought into the light of day — and Power Shift 2015 is a perfect place to do so.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Josh Levs www.JoshLevs.com
Josh Levs is a former journalist for CNN and NPR, an expert on issues facing modern families, and author of the highly acclaimed new book All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses — And How We Can Fix It Together. The Financial Times named him one of the top 10 male feminists, and the U.N. HeForShe program has tapped him as a global representative.