The father effect – Advancing men taking parental leave in Australia

Fathers at Work
Friday 27 July

Presenters

Emma Walsh
Parents At Work

Abstract
Currently, only 2% of fathers in Australia take parental leave. By comparison, in Sweden, 25% of fathers take parental leave. As a result, the Swedes have made significant leaps and bounds in terms of the wellbeing and work-life balance of their workforce. Australia, by contrast, ranks 27 out of 37 countries on work-life balance for parents. Australia also offers the least generous government paid parental leave scheme among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
This raises some questions, including: How would society benefit if more men took parental leave? How are Australia’s parental leave systems and policies enhancing or limiting men’s participation? What relevance does this have to business owners and corporate profit margins?
Parents At Work Chief Executive Officer Emma Walsh will deliver a case study of the benefits of the Swedish parental leave system as well as the professional practice that needs addressing in Australia when it comes to supporting working fathers and their families.
Part of a documentary filmed during her research trip to Sweden will be used to tell the story of the stark differences between the two systems and what parents and organisations are doing in Sweden to make gender equality and family wellbeing the norm at home and in the workplace.