A number of big Australian corporates have teamed together to get a clearer picture of the barriers affecting employees who are also working parents, and to formulate solutions and approaches which will alleviate associated pressures.
The first, national Working Families Survey has been launched today, led by parenting education providers, Parents At Work and Karitane as well as researchers from two Australian universities.
The research is also critically backed by corporates; Deloitte, QBE, Baker McKenzie, KPMG, Westpac, IKEA and HSBC– all of which form the Advancing Parental Leave Equality Network (APLEN).
The aim of the survey is simple: To understand how workplaces can better address ways of combining work with care responsibilities. Companies involved in the collaboration will then use feedback from the survey to introduce improved policies and programs aimed at creating more inclusive, family friendly workplaces.
Grainne O’Loughlin, Karitane CEO put it perfectly when she said: “The struggle of the juggle is very real!
“Parenting can be stressful and with the added pressures of working it can have a profound impact on the individual as a parent and also as an employee.”
The study is also endorsed by journalist, commentator and author of a forthcoming Quarterly Essay about fathers and work, Annabel Crabb, who described the collaboration as “an important and under-explored area of research.”
“Australian families don’t really function any more in the way workplaces have traditionally expected them to. The more we know about the hidden world of the Australian home, the better the world of work can adapt to bring some real equality for families struggling to balance the two.”
Any Australian family is invited to participate and input from parents of all genders is highly valued; this includes mothers and fathers of young children (0-18 years), working in a range of occupations and industries nationally, as well as any carers who spend significant time looking after children.
It’s an unprecedented move from Australian corporates which are no longer looking for bandaid fixes for pervasive challenges like this. This collaboration shows a true commitment to positive change which will enable all working parents to live and work more equally.