Equal Lives: At home and at work

The Equal Lives report published today, in partnership with Santander, has found that men want more support from their employer to balance work and care. Chloe Chambraud, Gender Equality Director, Business in the Community, discusses. 
  
One year ago, we commissioned a team of leading academics to find out what men actually think, do and want in relation to work and care across the UK and over 10,000 men and women told us what they needed from their employers to lead happier, healthier and more balanced lives. 

But why are we focusing on men? Over the last 30 years, Business in the Community’s Gender Equality Campaign has published a series of landmark reports showing why and how employers can support women in work. But gender equality is also a men’s issue. Until caring and parenting responsibilities are better shared between women and men, we won’t close the pay gap and the inequalities that persist across industries.

Until now, most research in this area has focused on women. We made assumptions about what men wanted or needed but didn’t have the facts or knowledge to support this. Equal Lives set out to fill this gap.

Through this piece of work, men told us they wanted to be more present for their children and elderly parents, but public policy, organisational practices and uninformed managers often prevent them from doing so. As a result, carers and parents are more stressed and disengaged than other employees and many intend to leave the organisation. This lack of flexibility prevents employees from reaching their full potential in different areas of their life and impacts on their productivity. 
 
In 2018, any employee should be able to have job and family responsibilities, without either being compromised. Businesses who can create more family-friendly workplaces supported by a flexible working culture will attract, engage and retain their male and female talent. 

This report offers insight and practical recommendations to support all employees. Not just the heterosexual-nuclear-family-with-male-breadwinner model but same-sex parents, extended families, and childless families. I hope it supports you in your journey to achieve gender equality for all.  
 
I would like to say a huge thank you to the 10,000+ people who took time out of their busy lives to complete the survey. The time you spent in helping us to understand what happens in your lives just shows how much this matters to you. We will make sure your voices are heard.