Paternity leave has been big in the news lately and on my mind as one of our clients, a man in a big advertising agency in Korea said he was taking a year off for paternity leave. A year? In Korea? Korea was the first Asian country I worked in, in 1998. Most of the conversations with my all male team in the telecom sector went something like this:
Me: “So your wife stays up and cooks food for you at 3am when you come in?”
Tiger (self-named): “And sets out my slippers!”
Since then I’ve lived in Asia for over a decade. I’ve changed a lot. Korea has changed a lot and now now has. Parents are getting equal opportunities to set out the slippers for each other and do the nightshift for their little ones:
2) Singapore doubled its paternity leave to four weeks
3) In March, Hong Kong got the first ever statutory paternity leave (3 days, sorry guys)
4) The Dad Dividend has been declared – children whose fathers take paternity leave are deemed to be smarter, nicer and better looking!
Is equality is finally affecting men in families? Will they take advantage of it?
Stigma against taking leave still exists, I would argue, for both sexes. As the recent articles on Amazon show, competitive spirit can be misconstrued and people may feel that they can’t have both work success and family leave. However, with more women in the workforce, future or work will be all about work and family co-existing and a parent’s place in the home being an equal opportunity proposition.
Read the complete Workplace 2030 Series:
Part 2 of Workplace 2030: Tales From the Coalface
Part 3: This Article
Part 4 of Workplace 2030: What's the ROI of Your Life Partner?