January 16, 2019

Paternity Leave at Accounting Firms Better Than Getting a Tie for Father’s Day

Sunday is Father's Day, so our friends at Vault have shared the results from their working parent survey that cover the dear ol' dads and accounting firms faired pretty well: 

[S]urvey respondents who work in accounting rate their firms highest when it comes to how accommodating they are for working fathers (survey respondents were asked to rate their firms on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not accommodating at all and 10 being extremely accommodating). This is perhaps not all that surprising since accounting firms and, in particular, the Big 4 accounting firms (PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and KPMG), are regularly singled out by publications such as Working Mother magazine for their generous benefits offered to working mothers. And since it's often believed that the way to help working mothers succeed in the workplace is to provide ways for their spouses to take on more of the ] caregiving responsibilities at home, it follows that these firms would also be rather accommodating to fathers. […] Accounting also ranks on top when it comes to satisfaction with paternity leave policies […], with law coming in second and consulting coming in third. Finance/banking, technology, and manufacturing all rate relatively much lower.

Accounting firms scored an average of 7.439 on a scale of 10 on "Overall Accommodation" of dads compared to a 7.66 average with moms and the average score for paternity leave from people at accounting firms was 7.647. That's pretty encouraging, but there is still some resistence from some entrenched attitudes:

[A]lthough most accountants are satisfied with their firms’ policies, a few note, “It’s unofficially frowned upon to take advantage of paternity leave benefits.” 

And it's funny how "unofficial" attitudes can have an effect on things like performance evaluation. Face time disguised as "commitment" is a good example of that and I'm willing to bet that paternity leave, in some offices, is similar. Some of that may be due to the "men are the breadwinners" mentality I suspsect it's more due to the idea that there are always people that are willing to buy into the old way of doing things if the person believes it will give them a leg up on their peers. Again, that will be seen as "commitment" in the eyes of some which is counterproductive to a firm's effort to provide flexibility to new parents. 

Still, accounting firms are ahead of other industries in this area, so hopefully the current and future dads out there are taking advantage of it.

Where's the Love for Working Fathers? [Vault]

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