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  • Writer's pictureDr. Ricarda Engelmeier

A Christmas story- how the Grinch stole New Work

This year, a man came up to me after one of my talks to tell me about the heartbreak of being a working dad.

There are lots of statistics about how many mums reduce their working hours to accommodate raising families (75%) versus dads (17%) and what that means for equality in the workplace. But of course the flip-side of that statistic is that 83% of dads miss out on large chunks of their children’s childhoods. 

It’s true, that really is heartbreaking - all the more for being so normalised, that most of the male managers that this has already happened to, are not now creating different workspaces and opportunities for the men in their teams who are starting on the parenthood journey. But they could be!

It reminded me of watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas all those years ago. 🎄 The Grinch’s heart was a size too small, until a girl came and softened him, and his heart grew, and everything changed for the better for everyone - including the Grinch. 

In our workplaces, the people who come and change the status quo for everyone are also most often girls (or women!) - and many of those managers who were initially so set in their ways, then become transformed, either because a female member of their team showed them alternative possibilities, or because they have grown-up daughters now who are blazing a different trail than they did.

My wish this Christmas is that it doesn’t take that girl in our family or our team anymore to show us what’s possible - but that we all become changemakers for diversity, regardless of age, gender or personal experience. We can pioneer innovative working models and enable successful and rewarding careers for people who have commitments outside work - making both our workplaces and families fairer for everyone.

It would make for happier workers, more efficient teams - and happier families.

Wishing you all a very happy festive season - and a better, fairer 2024! ✨

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