White House tries to get working dads some time off

As more women have entered the workplace, up from 50% in 1970 to 75% today, men have taken on larger roles at home over the past thirty years. The amount of housework men do has doubled from 4.4 hours a week in 1965 to 8.8 hours a week in 2012 and the number of hours they spend on childcare has risen from 2.5 hours a week to 7.1 hours, according to Labor Department statistics.

At the same time, the number of men reporting work/family conflicts has risen from 35% in 1977 to 60% in 2008. “We need to do more to give people the tools they need so that they can be responsible employees and responsible parents,” Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said. “We need to make sure parents can put food on the table for their kids and ensure that both parents are at the table to eat dinner with them.”

The summit focused on identifying the various challenges facing men who want paternity leave, examining the science that says it’s healthier for men to take time out to look after their kids, and analyzing the companies and countries that are getting it right.