Roy Gilbert

Making parental leave a priority benefits companies and career paths, some Utahns say

Forget balance! Leaders can navigate imbalanced lives

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A perfect work-life balance is not possible for those in leadership positions. It’s more useful to strive for work-life integration. There are ways to accept and maximize an imbalanced schedule. Beyond personal well-being, parental leave not only can lead to big payoffs for companies, but it can positively influence parents’ careers.

In terms of professional success, according to Robbyn Scribner, lead researcher and assistant director of the Utah Women and Leadership Project, some studies have actually shown paternal leave is more critical than maternal leave, because it leads to more equalized child care.

“Looking at the long-term pathways for men and women throughout their career lifespan, we know that there’s a fatherhood bump, so when men become fathers, they earn more money, they are more successful, when women become mothers, their earnings drop significantly, they are less likely to have promotions, and a lot of that is because of the unequal distribution of work at home, of the care work,” Scribner said. “By giving those dads the opportunities to be home right for the very beginning, it makes it more likely to equalize a little bit the way becoming a parent affects a mother’s and a father’s career. And hopefully that will give a boost to the mothers because they’re sharing all those duties more equally throughout the lifespan of their child and their family.”

Lyndsey Proctor, a licensed clinical social worker who owns Serenity Recovery and Wellnes s, said having dads involved from the very beginning and taking on more of […]

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