Parenting platform for men Music Football Fatherhood and The University of Birmingham have announced the winners of the first Working Dads Employers Awards.
Designed to celebrate organisations that promote the role of fathers in driving gender equality in the workplace, the inaugural Working Dads Employers Awards was developed by The University of Birmingham’s Equal Parenting Project and Music Football Fatherhood. The awards ceremony took place on 24 May in Parliament.
The Working Dads Employers Awards is the latest project by Music Football Fatherhood whose mission is all about enabling positive representations of diverse fatherhood. Last year, MFF founder Elliott Rae released his best-selling book ‘DAD: untold stories of fatherhood, love, mental health and masculinity’ , a moving and inspiring collection of 20 stories representing the diversity of modern fatherhood.
Earlier this year, Rae also presented the BBC One documentary ‘Becoming Dad’ the first of its kind to bring issues around dads’ mental health, equal parenting, work-life balance and masculinity to the mainstream.
Following on from this, the Working Dads Employers Awards demands equal consideration in the workplace for dads and is clearly an important aspect of fathers being present in their children’s lives.
The awards give a pat on the back to companies that try to break down the gendered barriers to child-caring in order to promote gender equality in the workplace. The aim is to reduce the gender pay-gap, encourage more women onto boards and enhance the wellbeing of families.
The four key categories of the awards are the: ‘Flexible Working Award’ (presented to Now Teach and Suffolk County Council), ‘Supporting Returning Dads Award’ (presented to John Lewis, Suffolk County Council and Vodafone), ‘Leadership and Culture Award (presented to AON), and the ‘Parenting Policies Award’ (presented to Aviva, John Lewis, Nationwide, Suffolk County Council, Vodafone and Waltham Forest Council).
Speaking about the importance of the awards, Music Football Fatherhood founder, Elliott Rae, said: “The world is changing, and more dads want to play a more active and present role in their family’s lives. They want to work flexibly, take extended paternity leave and work for organisations who support them to be active parents at home.
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“The outdated gendered parenting roles are quickly becoming a thing of the past and it is our pleasure to celebrate the organisations that are supporting their working dads to be active parents at home. The work these companies are doing is ground-breaking and will truly make a significant positive difference to people’s lives. The benefits are plentiful from increased workplace gender equality, mental health and wellbeing and outcomes for our children.”
Dr Holly Birkett and Dr Sarah Forbes from University of Birmingham’s Equal Parenting Project said: “We hope by celebrating and communicating about these excellent initiatives we can collectively inspire other employers to think about how they too can better support working dads and encourage less gendered attitudes around childcaring in order to give families more choices about caring, promote gender equality in the workplace and help close the gender pay gap.”
The Working Dads Employers Awards will lead to the creation of four case studies that will be offered to employers across the UK to reflect upon and improve their support for fathers in the workplace.