Fathers and the changing face of work

Fathers and the changing face of work

The University of Aberdeen is to be the venue for an international gathering of academics discussing the issue of Fathers and Fatherhood.

Speakers from Columbia University, New York, Gotenborg University, Sweden and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim will join colleagues from across the UK at the seminar on Friday November 8. Around 45 delegates will attend the seminar Fathers and the Changing Nature of Work and discuss current practices and policies within the workplace connected with fatherhood.

A particularly interesting feature of this seminar is the attendance of a group of local fathers and workers from the ‘Challenge Dad’s’ educational project in Torry, Aberdeen with four fathers invited to attend and share their experiences. Gary Roberts, organiser of the innovative group explained: “The ‘Challenge Dad’s’ project aims to develop ways of increasing fathers’ involvement in family life. The group focuses on the importance of the role of the father in children’s learning. All activities of the group are designed to be fun and educational for both dads and children.”

This week’s seminar has been organised by Professor Lorna McKee, University of Aberdeen Department of Management Studies who said: “As fathers have often been invisible in work it is perhaps unsurprising that many men now report difficulties in balancing work and family life. Long hours, international travel, evening and weekend working are now common in many organisations and can make it difficult for men to fully participate in the care of their children. The government is now trying to address this issue with a range of family friendly initiatives, for example, paternity leave. There are many lessons to be learned from other countries and contexts where policies are often better developed. This seminar will allow the sharing of best practice and help to inform UK opinion on this very important issue.”

The object of the four part series of seminars is to provide a forum for the dissemination and discussion of new research on the changing nature of fatherhood generally. Funding and support has been provided by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) – the UK’s leading research funding and training agency addressing economic and social concerns.

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