Trend Observation: Time for Equality

 

According to an article in The Guardian, London-based tech start-up Songkick has introduced equal paternity leave for new fathers.

This means that they will be eligible to take up to nine months off after the birth of their child comprising of six weeks’ paid leave and 46 weeks on top of that. Currently, the legal requirement is two weeks’ paternity leave.

“None of my male friends worry about what will happen to their careers when they have kids, but in particular there is this expectation on women to be a mum, stay at home and shoulder the responsibility of childcare…That is reinforced by the unequal parental leave policy. If the mother can take nine months but the father can only take two weeks, then who is going to do it?”
Co-founder Michelle You to The Guardian

 

Sharing responsibility

 

Time for equality

Thanks to the rise of women in the workplace and the impact of the recession on men, we’re seeing traditional gender roles shift in the home (see our trend “Alpha Mothers”). According to Mintel’s Lifestyles of Dads UK October 2012 report, 28% of stay-at-home dads say that they love being a home maker.

It’s therefore unsurprising that we’re seeing initiatives that allow men to take at least an equal responsibility when it comes to caring for their children.

Indeed, we’ve seen a number of countries across the globe call for greater equality and behaviour shifts that reflect this: For instance, the number of fathers taking paternity leave in South Korea is growing, France is encouraging new fathers to take their share of parental leave and the UK is installing beds in hospitals to get fathers more involved in childbirth.

And here we’re seeing a business cater to this by allowing new fathers equal parental leave. Other companies that move with the times and offer their staff greater flexibility in all areas of life are sure to meet with success.

For a deep and complete analysis of the current situation of the Lifestyle industry in the UK, Mintel published the following market research: Lifestyles of Dads in UK

This is an observation from our Inspire trend Who are the Joneses which looks at the growing status of pets. For the latest trends and observations on Inspire click here.

 

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