Despite new rules coming into play in the UK around paid paternity rights for working fathers, many men won’t take the extra leave because there is a stigma attached to men taking time out of the workplace when they have a new son or daughter, according to one think tank.

This is interesting to me, not because I necessarily have strong opinions as to whether men should be allocated more or less days paid leave to bond with their children, but because stigmas still exist in the workplace.

The question is, who turns the tide, and how?

In this case we are talking about men not wanting to be seen as non-committal to their work in case they jeopardise future opportunities for promotion and are favoured less when standing next to a fellow worker who refused to take the allotted days leave. In other cases there could be ‘rules’ or unspoken laws within the workplace that discriminate and encourage exclusive behaviour. So what is being done to change opinion when these cases arise?

Can you see anyone in your workplace who has the power and influence to change attitudes and organisational culture?

All businesses need leaders, and not just in the boardroom. They need leaders all across the workplace to help shift traditional views that exist for no reason other than ‘it’s just the way we do things’.

We talk about the concept of Focussed Thinking here at Muika Leadership, and we talk to people about having absolute focus and determination to succeed at whatever it is they are targeting. It could be a promotion, or it could be changing the way people act and think within a company.

Developing leadership that believes it can make a real difference in the way ‘things get done’ is crucial, and the only way to do this is to have absolute focus and pure determination.

It will be interesting to see whether any organisations have leaders with enough power to remove the stigma currently fastened to new fathers.

Karen Murphy

Focussed Thinking – Our next Developing Leadership programme

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