The Paternity Paradox

Paternity Paradox

Are fathers now experiencing the same pressures mothers have for decades?

The beginning of the paternity paradox.

Equality in the workplace. It’s what we all want. And great strides have been made to level the playing field for mothers and fathers at work. But then why do half of working fathers in Asia-Pacific believe that leveraging those equal opportunities have a detrimental effect on their career? And why seven-in-ten dads feel that their career progression slowed down after having a child?

Read the press release and explore the results below.

About Talking Talent's research

This is the 1st edition of Talking Talent’s working parents survey in Asia-Pacific, which is part of the global series ‘Expecting more than a baby’. Talking Talent surveyed 1,000 working parents in five separate Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore) born between 1956 and 2000.

The research provides insight into what really happens when life meets work for working parents in Asia-Pacific - the pressures, views on parental leave and how well their workplace supports parents.

We provide suggestions on how organisations can reduce stigma and shift workplace culture around parental leave for both men and women, as well as flexible working policies and practices. The latter being critical to future proofing employee the business and culture.

Fathers are piecing together their parental leave experience

In our study, we uncovered several key themes across Asia-Pacific that illustrated major shifts in perceptions and the experiences faced following paternity leave. Explore the top 3 themes for Dad’s below or download the specific country report.

Parental responsibility v career progression

Making it more attractive for fathers to take parental leave is key to mothers being able to progress in their careers. However, almost half of respondents agree that fathers who take extended parental leave find it has a detrimental effect on their careers.

Pressures to return early

More than half (54%) of fathers have taken shorter parental leave than they would have liked. These findings indicate that initiatives such as shared parental leave may not be of help to half the male workforce in the region.

Parental guilt

After having returned to work, it’s not just mothers that feel guilty, fathers do too. Over two thirds (68%) feel professional pressures now negatively impact their ability to be the parent they’d like to be, whilst three-in-five (57%) feel guilty that they don’t spend enough time with their children.

The parental leave reality

There is no question that fathers are now facing the same difficulties that mothers have encountered for generations when it comes to balancing work and children. And it will always be that - a balancing act. Here are the top 5 experiences both mothers and fathers share the same view in across Asia-Pacific.

  • Work pressures often negatively impact their ability to be parent they want to be
  • Spending enough quality time with children was a challenge as a working parent
  • Keeping an interesting job role while being a parent is difficult
  • They expect that their own child(ren)s generation will find it just as hard as their generation to balance work and parenting
  • Financial pressure was the greatest challenge when they first returned to work

Interested in reading more?

Use the links below to DOWNLOAD our research ‘Expecting more than a baby’:

View our RECOMMENDATIONS on reducing stigma and shifting workplace culture around parental leave for everyone.

Are you reading to enhance the experience for working parents?

Talk to us today.