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Debunking stereotypes The challenge of being a part-time dad

A survey shows the majority of Swiss men would prefer to work less and spend more time with their family. But reality paints a different picture. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Numbers of men working part-time have increased steadily in the last decade, but today they account for just 16 per cent of all working men. For sociologist Dietmar Wetzel, the gap between people’s goals and what they do in practice is unsurprising. He claims that it’s normal for people to give answers in surveys that society likes to hear. But when it comes to actually putting this into practice, it’s not feasible. Men like to present themselves as being modern and enlightened, but many don’t implement it, he notes.

Those who do, often feel the downsides. Part-time work isn’t away compatible with career ambitions.

For Christian Gert, a father and teacher, the problem is that it’s hard to progress in your work when you only work part-time. To develop a career it takes time and continuity. That means less time for the family. Part-time fathers often also experience that work colleagues look down on them.