We have previously written that the long-held societal ideas of "family" are slowly changing, and family law is working to change along side of them. In many states, for instance, it is no longer the assumption that mothers will automatically be awarded full child custody.
Dads are playing a larger role in child rearing, and many divorced dads are showing that men can also be great caregivers. Nonetheless, stereotypes and unfair assumptions still exist for both men and women, and the parents who defy expectations are sometimes met with resistance.
In a recent opinion piece, a blogger named Robert Anthony discusses the difficulties of being a divorced, working father who is also trying to play an active role in his children's lives. He concedes that balancing work and family is difficult for any parent, especially a single parent.
However, he believes that it is more socially acceptable for working mothers to ask for an accommodating work schedule than it is for working fathers. Anthony says that a persisting prejudice continues to send a clear message to men: "work first, parenthood second."
Anthony writes: "it is exceedingly more difficult for me to obtain the same kind of parental leeway granted to female co-workers. For me, and for many men like me, leaving work early to pick up kids, or to attend a PTA meeting, for example, is nowhere near as simple or socially acceptable."
As an example, he tells the story of a time when he made a request to bring his 8-year-old son into the office for a few hours. The boy didn't have school that day, and he would have been able to sit and work quietly while his dad finished up some tasks. The request was met with a curt email response saying: "You will have to find another alternative. Thank you."
Is there a workplace prejudice against divorced dads, or do single moms face the same hardships? Should all companies be doing more to make things easier for divorced parents, regardless of gender? What do readers think?
Source: Huffington Post, "Workplace Discrimination: The Hidden Discrimination Divorced Dads Face At Work," Robert Anthony, Jan. 18, 2013