Perception is Reality - Dads in SMEs


Cover.pngCultural effects on the uptake of family-friendly policies by fathers in SMEs.

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This research set out to understand how the culture of SMEs (small private organisations with between 50-250 employees) in Scotland impacts on the utilisation of family-friendly policies and what can be done to eliminate any barriers so that more organisations and families can benefit. 

Fathers are now experiencing work-life conflicts at a comparable rate to mothers - especially in relation to work overload. In spite of the evidence of the positive impact of family-friendly policies on productivity, reduced turnover and higher levels of job satisfaction take up remains low for fathers.

Working_Culture_Infographic.pngThis may be due to perceived negative career consequences, gender stereotyping or for financial reasons. A "fatherhood penalty" is increasingly in evidence, whereby fathers find it necessary to seek lower-paid and lower quality work in order to take on more caring responsibilities. (Working Families Modern Families Index 2017)

“There is also a significant aspect in terms of the perception around what this (using policies) would do to your career. I don’t think the statistics necessarily back that up in terms of our organisations but the perception is there is a negative impact and this is part of the issue: perception is reality”

This research was undertaken by Brynja Rún Benediktsdóttir. as part of an MSc in Human Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh Business School.