Opting Out for Men

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Gerry brings up an interesting point in my last posting, about flexible work being a key issue for today’s workforce: men need and desire flexibility as much as women.

According to the Tuck survey I referred to in the last post:

Men are very interested in career breaks but for different reasons than women. While women ranked parenthood as the top reason they would leave the workforce (70%), for men avocation or life outside of work topped the list at 59%.

At the Tuck informational meeting I attended for people looking to get back into the workforce, a man raised his hand during the Q&A and expressed skepticism that it would be easy for him–a stay-at-home dad–to slip right back into a career. In fact, the study also found:

Men mistakenly believe their rationale for wanting a career break is not as “accepted” as women’s. While men are almost as interested in taking a break as women (59% versus 70%), they are hesitant because they believe women are more likely to be granted a break from the workplace.

75% of men said that employers are more likely to say “yes” to a woman requesting a leave of absence from work.

In addition, 85% of men said that employers are more likely to say “yes” to a person with children requesting a leave of absence from work.

Is that true? Is it harder for dads to take a break from their careers than it is for moms? Are employers addressing this shift? Is there a Daddy Track?

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