What All Working Women Need To Know About Paternity Leave And Equality

By | Monday, December 28, 2015


A while back, TFD covered some stats on Maternity Leave in America. Today, I’m giving you the facts about paternity leave in the U.S., how far behind we are as a country, and why it’s essential to make mainstream paternity leave part of the national conversation. This is an essential goal to reach as a society if we want to promote gender equality in the workplace and at home.

Unpaid paternity leave and the general lack of any real and meaningful national conversation to change this is not only hurting men, but women and families as well. When new fathers take time to be home with their children in the same way new working moms do, child care improves, women’s salaries improve, and men are viewed more favorably by coworkers. It also ensures that individuals stay in the workspace longer instead of dropping out to care for children. Research shows that women are much more likely to drop out of the workforce when their partners don’t receive paid paternity leave after the birth of a child. Because the situation for working moms becomes increasingly strained when they are the only ones taking time off, everyone benefits.

In fact, the true beneficiaries of paternity leave are women. Writer Liza Mundy, author of The Daddy Track: The Case For Paternity Leave, wrote:

One strikingly effective strategy used by the highest-ranking countries is paternity leave, which, whatever else
it may accomplish, is a brilliant and ambitious form of social engineering: a behavior-modification tool that has been shown to boost male participation in the household, enhance female participation in the labor force, and promote gender equity in both domains.

A stronger focus on paternity leave as the new normal would benefit everyone, because it would promote gender equality. Similar to my previous post on these issues around work, family, and paid leave, I’ve built out another infographic which highlights the facts about U.S. paternity leave, who has access to it, and what they actually receive. I’ve also laid out some very high-level facts about paternity leave in a few other countries around the globe so it’s easier to see where we could improve, and how far we have left to go. Check it out!

US Paternity Leave Graphic V1-01

References for graphic.

-Center For Economic And Policy Research. A Detailed Look at Parental Leave Policies in 21 OECD Countries.

-DOL POLICY BRIEF. Paternity Leave: Why Parental Leave For Fathers Is So Important For Working Families.


Read through these additional resources to get a more comprehensive understanding of Paternity Leave in the U.S.

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