How being a dad affects your career (spoiler: it doesn't)

A new survey of Canadian men shows that they don't suffer the same negative career effects from parenthood that moms do.

By Today's Parent
How being a dad affects your career (spoiler: it doesn't)

Photo: iStockphoto

Has being a parent affected your career?

That’s one of the questions that Chatelaine recently asked 1,000 Canadian men as part of a larger survey of what men are thinking and experiencing these days.

Women, of course, have long reported that being a mom negatively affects their career trajectory. Heck, sociologists even have a term for it: the motherhood penalty. It’s when working mothers encounter systematic disadvantages in pay, perceived competence and benefits, as compared to childless women. One New York Times article described having children as “one of the worst career moves a woman can make.” Sigh.

But wait: What about men?

Academic studies prove pretty conclusively that men don’t suffer the same consequences at work when they become dads—and the new Chatelaine survey results back that up.

Nearly three out of four men surveyed (74 percent) said that being a parent hasn’t hurt their career at all. What’s more, 10 percent of that group said fatherhood has actually helped their careers.


The survey also looked into the perception of men who take paternity leave. When asked, “Do you think less of a man who takes a prolonged paternity leave?” an eyebrow-raising 12 percent said they do; however, 13 percent said they think more of a man who opted to take a long leave when their baby was born. Alarmingly, seven percent of respondents said when a man takes a long paternity leave, it shows he isn’t serious about his job, and eight percent said they’d never want to be home with a baby.

We wonder if men would face some of the same negatives of parenthood if they were more involved in childcare.

To read the full results of the Chatelaine survey, click here.

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