The year 2020 has been transformative for how society sees fatherhood, and could produce the most profound shift in caring responsibilities since the second world war, according to researchers, business leaders and campaigners.

Research has shown that while women bore the brunt of extra childcare during the initial coronavirus lockdown and are being disproportionately impacted by the economic fallout, there has been also a huge surge in the number of hours men are spending with their children.

This could lead to a permanent re-evaluation of the value of fatherhood and a shift in working patterns, according to Ann Francke, the chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

“Business leaders have seen firsthand what juggling work and family life entails and that both parents need to be empowered to do that,” she said. The shift to home working had forced business leaders to recognise that flexible working could benefit all employees as well as save money, she said.

“Fathers are vital to progressing gender equality for mothers,” she added. “Without progress for fathers at home there can’t be progress for mothers at work, they are two sides of the same coin.”

In May, the Office for National Statistics found that the first Covid lockdown had led to a 58% increase in childcare undertaken by men, whose working hours dropped by one hour and 37 minutes per day. While women still did more childcare, the gender care gap narrowed. In 2015, the ONS found that men were spending 39% of the time that women spent on childcare, compared to 64% during lockdown.

That could lead to the most profound shift in gender roles since the post-war period, said Adrienne Burgess, joint chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute. “Research tells us that when there is a social movement happening, a crisis often accelerates the movement. For example, before the second world war women were gradually moving into the workplace and the war pushed that on – and I think we are witnessing a similar thinking in men’s involvement in childcare,” she said.

Elliott Rae, the founder of, a parenting and lifestyle platform for men, said he had spoken to many fathers who now regretted not previously seeing much of their children during the working week. “The dads I speak to are reflecting on how wrong they had it before, and how that negatively impacted their family,” said Rae, who has launched a crowdfunder for DAD, a book collecting stories of modern fatherhood”.

In the past few months, we’ve been working hard to put together a project that we are so so proud of. We are proud to announce that in the Spring of 2021, we’ll be publishing our first book ‘DAD: untold stories from the frontline of fatherhood’.
But before we publish, we are going to need your help!

We are crowdfunding to cover the costs for the book. Our Crowdfunder campaign launches on Thursday 19th November and we need your help to share our Crowdfunder (and donate if you can) to help make this book a reality. We truly believe this book will change the world!
Our crowdfunder campaign can be found here, please help by donating what you can and sharing: