This article talks about the fact that many men are afraid to take parental leave because they're afraid their bosses will look down on them.
I think that's probably true- a lot of people in this world don't seem to value childcare as much as "real" work. But women have been struggling with this for many years, and I don't think it's gotten any easier for them.
I've even read, in other places, that men often get a warmer reception than women when taking time off for their children ("oh, he's such a good father" vs. "Ugh, she's missing work again"). I guess it depends on where you work.
Do you think dicrimination against people who want to take parental leave is based on gender? Or is it just that employers see it as disloyalty to the company, whether you're a mother or a father?
[This message has been edited by Rizzo (edited 11-22-2002).]
quote:Originally posted by Rizzo: Do you think dicrimination against people who want to take parental leave is based on gender? Or is it just that employers see it as disloyalty to the company...
Both. Employers are never terribly overjoyed when you request time off, and that extends to childcare as well. But when it comes to childcare, most workplaces just get nutty.
Eveyr job I have ever worked has emphasized the importance of "taking one for the team." Whether that meant coming in when you were sick or finding a babysitter so you'd not miss a shift, it was a hard and fast guideline that was enforced by the both employers and peers alike. Taking days off is not only a surefire way to make the boss sit up and take notice, but it tends to make co-workers bristle as well.
And some if it inevitably starts straddling the thin line of gender discrimination. You've got guys who'll mutter obscenities at women who are constantly taking days off to take care of their kids, and you've got ladies who spread venomous gossip throughout the office when male co-workers run home early to pick up the kids. I've seen it both ways, and I'm not sure one is worse than the other.
What I am sure of though is that while offices are becoming more integrated every day, this childcare issue is not one that will simply disappear. It's going to take time for people to get used to the concept, and it's going to take some serious flexibility on the part of employers and co-workers alike. Otherwise it'll be the quagmire that it is today. Where parents fear missing a day's work simply to provide their sick kids with the care they so deserve.
And in line with what Danny said about co-workers being miffed whether it's a man or a woman - what about people who don't *have* children and don't *want* any? I would imagine they get fairly irritated when their co-workers with children leave early to pick them up or get in late from taking them to school or the doctor.
People who miss work for whatever reason need to deal with it in the same way they would if they, personally, were sick; that's the only way to deal with the childcare issue fairly. Illness is, after all, an equal opportunity employer.
I do have to say that my personal feelings are that issues of work and children should not be considered the same as issues of work and illness. Whether we have/want children or not, how the children in our world are reared or cared for -- and viewed -- tends to make a pretty big difference on the quality and sustainability of the world we live in, IMO.
I just recently started working for a new company, and I was pleased to see that both maternity and paternity leave are allowed. I haven't encountered any males planning to take paternity leave yet, but it was made very clear to us in our induction that a man has the right to take this leave and would not be discriminated against for it. One of the women at my new job is pregnant, and no one resents her at all for the fact that she will be taking maternity leave in a few months, the managers included. As for taking time off for the children- I would assume that one would be able to take a day out of annual leave if this was necessary, or if you had to leave work a couple of hours early, you could make it up by staying late or coming in early another day.
As for the whole "taking one for the team" mentality- I would ask, what team are we supposed to be playing for, first and foremost? Our work team or our family team? Now, I know people might say you need a job to support your family, which is true, but it's sad to see that so much family life is being sacrificed at the altar of work and money.
[This message has been edited by Beppie (edited 11-23-2002).]
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