I have been reflecting on the ways that working dads can show their support for gender equality throughout the year, and I want to see men taking swifter action.
Currently there are too many easy, low maintenance ways for men to ‘demonstrate their support’ for women. Attend an event featuring an inspiring female keynote speaker. Participate in a forum on diversity in the workplace. Wear a purple or white ribbon on your lapel. Take your pick.
Men’s participation in any of these events, while it might get some of us thinking about the roles we and the women in our lives assume at work and in the home, doesn’t amount to any tangible change beyond raising awareness of the problems that exist. Eating a freshly baked croissant at a breakfast in some fancy ballroom while you scroll through your inbox before work, half-listening to a panel discussion or keynote speaker on [insert topic here], does exactly nothing for improving gender equality.
Such events let men off the hook from reflecting deeply on the issues they aim to cast light on: the continued disparity between men and women across all parts of our society. Just take your pick of any workplace issue, for instance: pay and wages, leadership and representation, promotion and advancement, leave and childcaring.
Instead of attending such-and-such an event, I’d love to see working dads send a photo of themselves to the Circle In team, at email@example.com or by tagging @circlein into your Instagram post, showing how they’re taking direct action at home or in the workplace in support of gender equality. There are powerful and long-lasting things that working dads do on every bloody day of the year to show they’re helping to create more equal homes, workplaces and communities.
So how about we see some photos of working dads doing any of the following:
- Applying for or taking parental leave
- Using flexible work arrangements to manage the juggle
- Taking care of sick kids home from childcare or school
- Doing the childcare or school pickup (drop off is easy if you stay back late at work)
- Settling kids to sleep at night
- Participating at kids’ school and childcare
- Doing domestic duties around the house (not just gardening)
- Doing something amazing with your kids out in the community
All our kids deserve to see Mum and Dad treated equally at home and in the workplace. Let’s share our real stories to show the swift action men are taking to eradicate gender inequality.
Written by Rob Sturrock. Rob has written for various outlets including Mamamia, Women’s Agenda, SMH and Huffington Post, and has appeared on ABC News and Today Show discussing the ups and downs of fatherhood. He is married with two kids.
Read Rob’s real story: I’m a dad that knows the juggle struggle is real