Men Are Acting Like Babies About Paternity Leave

Ya big baby!
Ya big baby! Photo: Simon Ritzmann/Getty Images

Men — can’t live with ’em and, well, one day we’ll be able to live without them. But in the meantime we have to wonder what it is that’s preventing the other gender from taking paternity leave, even though it is becoming available to them more and more widely.

A new Deloitte survey of 1,000 American employees with access to company benefits found that fewer than half of the Americans surveyed felt that “their company fosters an environment in which men are comfortable taking parental leave.” Okay, sure. But that shouldn’t stop men from taking paid family leave, right? Just because they’re uncomfortable with the idea? Right? 

Not only do more than one-third of respondents feel that taking parental leave would jeopardize their position, but more than half (54 percent overall, 57 percent of men) feel that it would be perceived as a lack of commitment to the job, and 41 percent of those surveyed feel that they would lose opportunities on projects.

Studies have found that men actually prosper when they have kids: Their salaries tend to go up after having children and men with children are often paid more than men without children. But that doesn’t mean they’re actually taking leave to be with their infants, one big contributing factor to the gender pay gap because men are not tasked with putting a stop on their careers, while women are. When women take maternity leave, they very often become privy to the motherhood penalty: Being away from work to take care of children affects their wages when they return. Men, guess it’s time to stop being babies!!

Men Are Acting Like Babies About Paternity Leave