What Do Working Dads Really Want? Johnson & Johnson and Working Mother Worked Together to Find Out

Jan 23, 2020 2:35 PM ET

Johnson & Johnson, a 2019 Working Mother Best Company for Dads, supported just-released research on the office benefits fathers most wish they had. Can you guess what factor influences dads to be 20% more likely to take time off to be with their families?

Flexibility. That's the top thing working dads say they really want when it comes to balancing their jobs and families.

And if you're a father at Johnson & Johnson, that's something you can take advantage of in many different ways—from a generous global parental leave policy that's offered to new moms and dads to a backup childcare benefit that gives them peace of mind knowing they can get work done while their kids are in good hands.

This family-first company culture has helped Johnson & Johnson land on the 2019 Working Mother Best Companies for Dads list, which highlights organizations that offer employee benefits that help working fathers succeed.

The company, which is a founding sponsor of the Working Mother Best Companies for Dads list, also teamed up with Working Mother to release a new survey—polling almost 2,000 dads working across the country in more than 20 industries—called "What Working Dads Really Want."

So what tops their lists? In addition to flexibility, which is desired by 84% of those polled, 81% of dads think it's important to have paid time off after the birth or adoption of a child. Two-thirds would also appreciate having access to a career off-ramp program, allowing them to step away from work to focus on child-rearing, then receive support in re-entering the workforce once ready.

That could be because fathers don't seem to have many role models when it comes to off-ramping—or even just taking time off with a new baby: Only 30% of dads surveyed knew of any senior-level company executives who'd taken parental leave in the past 24 months. Dads who were aware of execs who'd gone on leave, however, were 20% more likely to take time off to be with their families.

Perhaps what makes Johnson & Johnson such a noteworthy company for fathers is that it goes above and beyond to support dads who need and want to take time to care for their kids—and Scott Joslin, Director of R&D, Johnson & Johnson Vision can attest to that.

"When my wife passed shortly after the birth of our second child, Johnson & Johnson was a never-ending source of support," says the father of two, who was just named the company's Working Dad of the Year for 2019. "The management team encouraged me to take all the time I needed, and put me in touch with services like night nurses, nannies and preschools. After seven weeks, I returned to work, and they provided flexibility as I wrestled with getting the children fed and dressed in the morning, transporting them to and from a daycare, and getting everyone ready for bed at night. I cannot remember when this new routine transitioned to normalcy, but it took quite a while—and Johnson & Johnson was an important part of the journey."