Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Despite equality in workplace work-family policies — cultures at many legal employers and within society at large still reinforce imbalanced gender roles in caregiving and stigmatize the careers of attorneys who take advantage of these policies. However, there are signs of progress within society, which is helping force workplaces to evolve. And men play an important role in this culture change.

Men as users of workplace policies

The easy part is creating an inclusive work-family policy, while the more difficult part is evolving the culture to encourage more men to use it and remove the career stigma. To transform the culture successfully, there are several key components, including:

  • having senior leaders very deliberately model the good behavior in taking the leave and respecting the boundaries of those taking it when they are on leave;
  • encouraging people to take the actual leave;
  • reminding managers that when people are on leave to respect that leave; and
  • engaging in consistent dialogue in small group discussions about issues that parents of different genders face.


Read more about this topic and get inspired by tips and tricks from legal executives which they shared during a panel discussion hosted by the Thomson Reuters Institute’s Transforming Women’s Leadership Initiative and the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School. 

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