Ryan Reynolds, Father's Day, and New Data About Working Dads

This just in: new data about men reveals they're sharing equal responsibility with women for family and child responsibilities at home.

Just kidding. Men are still the earners, women the caregivers.

So confirms a new study. "Fathers consistently perceive even more pressure to prioritize work over their families," says Promundo's and Dove Men+Care's new Helping Dads Care study, "perhaps because outdated stereotypes that fathers are breadwinners but not caregivers remains pervasive."

New century, same old story. Sigh.

What Working Dads Say

Here's the thing: 70% of women are in the workforce. So men aren't the only earners. Just as important, today's dads don't want to be only earners. They want to be dads, too. They tell us this...a lot:

Yet work (and we!) can't seem to let them. Our cultural mindset is so entrenched that Americans can't even figure out the number of men on Swedish playgrounds. "They're "shocked to learn that these men aren't paid babysitters," wrote Slate, "but in fact, fathers."

Father's Day is a Good Time for a Change

Why should we care? Because of the domino effect. When work won't recognize dads as dads (when they penalize them for taking family time, which they do), it makes it hard for women to be moms and employees.  And then this happens. And that's not good for anyone.

"Our workplaces need to better support fathers to be fully involved parents," reads the Promundo/Dove study. "And if employers don't create enabling environments for all parents, they risk losing key talent: both men and women."

Amen.

Earlier this year, a delightful Deadpool 2 Fan asked working dad Ryan Reynolds how he was able to manage balancing the conflicts of work and parenting.

The actor was momentarily stunned: "That's so nice when you ask a dude this."

Here's to the day when asking a dude about child care is not so stunning at all.

Happy Father's Day!

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.