Balancing professional lives, work duties and parenting has been a difficult reality for many working parents. However, new research shows the toll this is having on workers with children. 

According to new research conducted by Utopia, a culture change business, and the Hobbs Consultancy, an inclusion consultancy, over a third of working parents (36 per cent) have stated there has been limited to no support from their employer.

Following on from this, over three in 10 (31 per cent) said there is limited or zero support in place to prevent them from being interrupted by their children.

This lack of separation between work and life is particularly problematic when considering that two-fifths (41 per cent) of workers claimed that keeping work and family separate is fundamental to their success.

In addition to this, almost two-thirds of working parents (63 per cent) reported feeling significant pressure to maintain their parenting role while on the job, further blending the two spheres.

Whilst the research reveals that working mothers have spent over 13 hours more with their children each week, it was the male respondents who reported feeling most strained by the way in which their parenting duties conflict with their working lives.

Over half of young men (51 per cent) agreed with the idea that success was achieved by keeping work and family separated.

In addition, a further half of young dads (50 per cent) feeling there is no or limited support for parenting duties that impact their time at work.

Nadya Powell, co-founder at Utopia, said:

Anecdotal evidence in lockdown three reinforces what our survey, which was carried out after second lockdown, found – there’s still work to be done if we’re to maintain a workforce that isn’t burnt out by the pressures of juggling the ‘parent’ and ‘employee’ roles without adequate employer support.

Daniele Fiandaca, co-founder at Utopia, added:

Workers believe the most-lauded leadership behaviours within their organisations are inherently masculine, those traits being confidence and assertion (43 per cent), action-orientated and results-focused (39 per cent), and ambition and competitiveness (29 per cent).

It’s time to shift from these outdated, masculine working cultures to more empathetic and open ones. Not just for young dads, or young mums, or carers, or older parents – for everyone. Lockdown delivered a huge blow to professional culture across the globe, and leaders need to act now to address it.

*Utopia and The Hobbs Consultancy’s Masculinity in the Workplace research was completed through market research company Opinium. The research polled a representative sample of 2,250 workers across the UK, between September and October 2020.