London School of Economics and Political Science, Winner 2015, The Cityfathers Best for all Stages of Fatherhood Award

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is working hard to equalise the opportunities it gives to fathers and mothers and is showing a genuine commitment to changing the ‘mum carer, father provider’ stereotype. This makes business sense and has a positive effect on gender equality at the LSE.

The following workshops are open to both mothers and fathers:

  • Balancing work and being mum (places are given to mums, even if they are not  employees, to support the dads who are employees)
  • Balancing work and being dad (places are given to partners, even if they are not our employees, to support the dads who are employees)
  • Building resilience in our primary age children and ourselves
  • Balancing work and being the carer of an adult

The LSE also offers fathers:

  • networks
  • flexible working
  • paid time to accompany the birth mother (partner or surrogate mother) to attend antenatal appointments
  • two weeks’ fully paid paternity leave
  • excellent, paid adoptive leave
  • phased return to work
  • on-site subsidised nursery that also provides emergency childcare when usual childcare arrangements fail
  • emergency leave on full pay
  • one-to-one meetings with HR staff to provide tailored advice on leave/keeping in touch/flexible working
  • the opportunity to seek support from a trained mentor on managing the transition to becoming a working father

Fully anticipating that fathers, like mothers, will want to be absent from work to care for a new-born or newly-adopted  child, the LSE offers academic employees, who are absent for more than 18 weeks, a teaching- and administrative-free term on full pay to catch up on research. This ensures that those who have taken a career break do not step off the career track.

The LSE has also fully signed up to the spirit of shared parental leave and already offers up to 16 weeks’ leave on full pay to follow on from full pay for Additional Paternity Leave.

The  wife of an associate professor, took the first six months off after their son was born and then the associate professor  took six months on full pay. After this he benefited from having a term’s research leave to re-establish his research trajectory. When his  son learnt to speak he called his parents ‘mamadaddy’, fusing the two words together. It was a very positive experience and the associate professor  is grateful for the LSE’s support; it has made him more loyal and more productive. “This makes an enormous difference to our wellbeing as a family. The childcare is genuinely shared. If employers are genuinely committed to equality this kind of scheme is a must. It has allowed us to institutionalise a fair childcare system and keep both our careers on track.”

The LSE monitors application and uptake of all its paternity-focused policies to ensure consistency in management approach and provides training to manage unconscious bias as a mandatory requirement for all staff involved in making decisions on recruitment, review, promotion and reward of their colleagues.

In the future, the LSE will continue to promote shared parental leave and research leave and is working  towards introducing  a new workshop to help parents to meet the challenge of bringing up teenagers.