Australia’s federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, has just announced her position on several work-family policies (paid maternity leave, women in leadership positions, and sexual harassment, to name a few) as a result of her “Listening Tour,” a 6-month venture across Australia speaking with over 1,000 people about their journey for gender equality. I found one of her post-tour agenda items particularly interesting. As it turns out, she finds herself in a great corner to advocate for gender equality in the workforce, specifically mentioning sex discrimination against working fathers.
While Broderick was once hired to promote women’s equality in the workforce, she recently stated that she wanted to strengthen the Sex Discrimination Act to penalize employers who stick family-friendly fathers on the “daddy track” by refusing to promote them. Fathers have reported that they are not seen as serious players when they “raise their hand” for flexible work schedules, as they are still seen as the breadwinners and as individuals who need to be more committed to their careers. They find that women are more easily granted leave for family time.
Currently, the law only protects fathers who have been fired, not those who have been put on the daddy track without the possibility of promotion. Broderick stated, “If there is one thing I could do to promote gender equality in this country it would be to better share paid and unpaid work between men and women…If we strengthen the family provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act, that will allow men to be more involved in their family and women to be more involved in paid work.”
Friday, July 25, 2008
The Daddy Track
Posted by Jeremy Adam Smith
Another neat post from the Sloan Work and Family blog: