Fathers’ Day Reality Check–It is an Everyone Issue

First, let me spread some blog love: Welcome, Kathie Lingle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Work-Life Progress to the blogosphere with her new blog. Her knowledge and experience is on display full force in her posting this week where she challenges the reality of the “opting-out” trend with an abundance of research to the contrary. And she warns (as I have many times) that perpetuating the myth actually hurts the very women it is supposedly trying to help. Welcome Kathie!

On this Father’s Day, let’s hear it for the men. More research proves, once again, that combining work and life is an issue for everyone. Not just women:

• An important article appeared recently inside the first section of The New York Times (unfortunately not the front page), entitled “Signs of Détente Between Venus and Mars” regarding a number of academic, peer reviewed studies in which men and women reported increasingly similar levels of concern related to work and life.
Monster.com just released a survey where 58% of fathers felt their employers should be more considerate of their needs as working dads, and a majority appreciate having a flexible work schedule.

The fact is men are part of the debate and more are making their unique voices heard in blogs and books, including:

“Confessions of a Trophy Husband” Blog: In her Chicago Tribune column this week, Barbara Rose showcases Kevin Rudge, a dad who decided to stay home and raise his three daughters while his wife pursues her career as a bank executive. Kevin writes a hilarious and highly entertaining blog to record his daily experiences as a “trophy” husband and father called www.mydaddoesnotwork.com. Bookmark it and go to it anytime you want to laugh.

CEO Dad—How Not to Get Fired by Your Family: In this new book, Tom Stern uses his cartoon character, CEO Dad, to take a humorous look at some very real and often difficult work-life conundrums professional fathers face, including himself. He tackles deep rooted issues related to how we really define success (not how we like to think we do) and the unintended consequences on our relationships at home and at work.

What does this mean for organizations? Here’s the truth: Work has changed and career paths have changed for everyone. In response, organizations can no longer hide behind, “oh, it’s only women who struggle with the traditional work and career model,” and avoid undertaking a wholesale reevaluation of their talent, recruitment, career, leadership, compensation, evaluation and flexibility strategies. I am convinced that organizations that face the truth and respond accordingly today will prosper. Those that continue to justify an outdated infrastructure with myths will unfortunately find they come up short.

What do you think? Any interested articles, books, or blogs written by men regarding work+life fit that you’d like to share? (Reminder about my comment spam filter—it will say your comment is spam but I can still see and approve it. So comment away!)

JOB CORNER: Are you or do you know someone who is an experienced (7 to 10 years) change management consultant interested in working for a boutique firm based in New York and Atlanta that offers work+life flexibility? Stromberg Consulting would love to talk to you. To learn more, contact Jennifer Carroll (Jennifer.carroll@kornferry.com) or Tyler Zienkiewicz (tyler.zienkiewicz@kornferry.com) at Korn Ferry, the search firm handling the search for Stromberg.