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Happy Father's Day! Dads Get Disrespected At Work, Too

A new Canadian study concludes that middle-class working men in "non-traditional" parenting roles are more disrespected at work than men in the traditional role of ignoring the kids except when yelling at them to stop doing whatever annoying thing they're doing. Happy Father's Day!

Researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management find that working dads who openly make time for the kids as well as a home life are getting dissed on the job:

"Their hours are no different than other employees', but their co-workers appear to be picking up on their non-traditional caregiving roles and are treating them disrespectfully," says Prof. Jennifer Berdahl of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, who co-authored the study with Sue Moon from the Long Island University Post.

Results were based on two separate field studies, each using mail-in surveys. The first was targeted at unionized workers in female-dominated occupations and the other was targeted at public service workers in a male-dominated workforce.

Overall, the studies found consequences for any employee who violated traditional gender roles when it came to having a family. The least harassed in the office? Fathers and mothers who followed more traditional gender norms; that is, men who did less caregiving and domestic tasks at home and women who did more.

The results suggest that how well a worker performs their gender role in the home has more bearing on how they are treated at work than how well that worker performs their job. As a result, men and women are likely to feel pressure at work to conform to traditional roles at home. "They may choose not to have children if these traditional roles are not feasible for them, or get in the way of family or career goals," according to Prof. Berdahl.

So Gen X and Gen Y dads who stray from traditional family roles might pay a price for it at work just as working moms do, at least in Canada. But probably here in the states too, since we're human beings who share a common border. I would have gotten away with that promotion if it weren't for you meddling kids!

Alternately, working dads might decide to leave the workplace altogether. It's estimated that nearly two million American men are now stay-at-home dads getting a disapproving side eye from stay-at-home moms at the park during traditional, 9-to-5 work hours.

Whatever you do, kids, make sure to thank Dad this Father's Day for all of the incredibly subtle crap he takes at work for daring to spend time with you by occasionally coming to your classroom during work hours to watch you read a two-paragraph story about an imaginary dog, or taking the afternoon off because you're sick and Mom has an important 2 p.m. client meeting. He's a mentally-present, more involved, 21st Century dad, and he deserves your respect, especially since his co-workers aren't giving him any, apparently. See you at the park, SAHDs!

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