Fathers Say They Face Work Discrimination

More than half of working fathers (52%) say they are discriminated at work according to a study from Berlin Cameron, The Female Quotient and Kantar.

The report was created with the “Parenthood Penalty” in mind, which is typically applied to working mothers but also has an effect on working fathers.

Dads, interestingly, are more likely than moms to believe women face discrimination at work for being a parent (53% vs. 37%). 

"Fathers don’t think about the impact of fatherhood until they have a child," says Jen DeSilva, President, Berlin Cameron. "It’s not until they become a dad that they can understand how parenthood will change them." 

There are significant differences between non-fathers and men with children, per the study.

More than twice as many dads as male non-fathers believe being a parent makes someone a better leader (79% vs. 31%) as well as more empathetic (29% vs. 15%). 



The study finds working for someone with kids is an advantage. Non-parents who worked for someone before and after the boss had children believe their boss’s most changed quality is being more flexible. Fathers, understandably, are more likely to state being flexible is more important after having children compared to 13% who say it is more important before having kids.   

"We are getting better at supporting dads with parental leave policies but we need to make conversations with dads in the workplace more prevalent," says DeSilva. "We are only furthering stereotypical roles by only having conversations with mothers about the impact of motherhood on their careers.  Involving dads too will make the dialogue more inclusive."

Fathers value responsiveness instead of more responsibilities. One in three fathers (32%) say personal commitments outside of work limit their capacity to take on more work responsibilities and one in four (24%) believe being responsive is more important after having children compared to 17% who say it is more important before having children.

"Just like no kid is the same, parenthood isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and the role of a parent is constantly evolving," she says. "Companies need to have on-going conversations with their employees through the parenthood journey to ensure they are supported as an individual and enabled to tackle their goals with best foot forward."


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