Last month, White Sox player Adam LaRoche walked away from a multimillion dollar baseball career after his boss told him he could no longer bring his son to work. People were quick to criticize Adam's bold decision to put #FamilyFirst, with one fan even going as far as to call him a "selfish quitter." Similarly, back in 2014, when New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy missed the season's first two games for the birth of his first child, he was also chastised for prioritizing family over his career.
Going ... Going ... Gone
Today, the reality is that more and more men don't just want flexibility, they demand it. And when they don't get it, some like LaRoche, might walk away from their job. While these athletes are great examples of what the modern man wants -- a dynamic career and a meaningful life -- absent from sports headlines is the story not being told: LaRoche's decision to walk away comes at the same time as a growing national movement to overturn traditional gender stereotypes.
Juggling work and parenthood is not just a working mom's game anymore. As more men share childcare and household duties, they also face difficult decisions. As a result, they, too, are seeking greater workplace flexibility and have a different set of expectations. Today's dad doesn't want to hear about his child's first homerun, he wants to be there for it. In fact, a recent survey by EY found that two-thirds of men said that they would change jobs or consider doing so to better manage work and family. Men also indicated more willingness than women to move to another country with better parental leave benefits, give up a promotion, relocate or take a pay cut.
Even the playing field
What do men need to be the best dads and employees they can be? As dual-career families become the norm, it's important that we embrace a more modern mindset that embeds equality into the corporate culture for both men and women.
That's why EY recently announced that it is now offering ALL parents welcoming a child through birth, adoption and surrogacy up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave, positioning the company as a first mover in equalizing parental leave benefits for men and women among their competitors.
With this new policy, we hope to not only empower all of our parents to take advantage of this special bonding time with their child before returning back to work, but also provide them with the flexibility they need to manage their family needs, career demands and transitions. More importantly, it sends a clear message, particularly to our EY dads, that we're serious about them becoming the kind of parents they want to be.
In fact, EY's marketplace research says that paternity leave is not only good for the family, but good for business, too. Earlier this year, EY and the Peterson Institute for International Economics released a global survey that explored gender equity issues within executive-level positions. The survey found that the countries with the highest percentages of women in leadership, including in the boardroom and at the executive level, offered fathers 11 times more paternity leave days than those countries at the bottom. It also found that companies with better paternity leave policies had better capabilities to build a sustainable pipeline of women talent.
The ball doesn't stop here
In order to fully embrace a working culture that incorporates flexibility for all -- especially new parents -- it's also important to have holistic support services in place. From coaching programs for new parents to numerous child care resource and referral benefits, we offer a wide range of family-friendly services that we hope, makes life easier for our parents.
Creating a work environment where people have greater control over their work and life responsibilities is not only essential to their personal needs, but is the cornerstone of workplace success. These market-leading parental leave benefits reinforce our commitment to helping our families achieve rich and fulfilling lives at work and at home. As LaRoche reminded us, this younger generation of men might walk away from hard-driving corporate culture if they can't find a work-life balance that fits the needs of their growing families, so it's important that we keep the ball rolling and continue to make work equal and flexible for all.