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Reflection on draft proposal feedback

In my feedback session with my colleague I proposed my draft with a number of options for the final outcome, with different options all based on the general concept of providing information and awareness of the cause and acting as a support organisation. We evaluated the different outcomes and decided that it needed to focus on the positive value of the matter, that paternity leave is a great experience for fathers, and promote this fact in an easy going and light hearted way. Therefore, the ‘Daddy Showers’ showed to be the best option, as it seemed to give an opportunity to reach out to the audience in a way that was high impact, low cost and could communicate the values we wanted to push in the target audience.

The question my colleague raised was how to actually attract your audience to attend these events. This made me realise that the detail of how this event is executed is very important, the employees won’t necessarily turn up just because their employers are sponsoring it. We discussed a few different scenarios where attractions like food and beverage or entertainment could gain attendance. We imagined themes like barbecue and beers or sporting events most effective as attractions, despite these all being representative of traditional gender stereotypes.

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Proposal – Daddy Showers

In Australia today, fathers with new born babies gets no entitlement specific leave from the government after the birth of their baby. Long lasting and sustainable change to law is a difficult and slow process, for this reason the most efficient and effective stakeholder to target to effect change in this case is the employers. They have both the most to gain from a change in behaviour and the most effect on the attitudes of their employees. It’s apparent that the number one reason for men not taking this type of leave is fear of reprisal from their employer. If this culture can be changed, the rate of male parental leave will increase drastically, and a more gender equal society will follow.

The idea of Daddy Showering is to bring attention to upcoming or existing fathers, and the importance of their role as a care taker in their child’s early life. The ‘Daddy Shower’ will identify as a service design and will be working in collaboration together with progressive employers who would like to achieve gender equity in their work place. Sponsored by volunteering companies and employers, the service organises hosted events where information about the issue and the benefits of taking paternity leave is communicated to the public.

The key challenge with this event is to remove the typically feminine image of paternity leave and indeed of the role of caring for children in the early stages of their lives. To do this it is crucial that the event maintains a typically masculine tone while also communicating important issues and breaking down stereotypes. An interesting case study of how this could be delivered is the extremely successful Movember Campaign, which has used the typically masculine concept of growing a moustache to normalise discussion of men’s health issues. Ideally the tone, as well as the look and feel of this event would mirror this and allow men to discuss and approach these issues in a comfortable and welcoming environment.

By Camilla Ahlström