Dads in Business and University of Sheffield Management School Research Project Kick Off!

It’s an exciting time for Dads In Business as we couple of extensive qualitative work based project with some fantastic research in partnership with the University Of Sheffield Management School. Step one for this research project is to carry out a focus group around the topic of Dad and the management of the many roles that this entails.

We are really excited to be working with the University of Sheffield on this project as I think the findings that it might bring will contribute to all aspects of the workplace and how we can work together to create a well rounded nd impactful workplace both for the employers the business owners, but also the dads and the moms and everyone else that’s in employment too. 

Kristin Hildenbrand – University of Sheffield Management School

Kristin Hildenbrand from the University of Sheffield Management School is leading the research for Dads In Business.

Research has extensively explored how employees manage work and non-work roles, identifying various strategies that are helpful, such as integrating or separating both life domains and using physical, temporal or psychological boundaries.

To a large extent, this research has however focused on women and mothers as they continue to cover the lion share of household and childcare responsibilities. While we thus know how role transitions, such as into parenthood, shape mothers’ understanding of who they are both professionally and privately, little is known about men’s understanding of themselves as Dads and leaders/ employees.

While women face prejudice when occupying senior leader roles, Dads face stereotypes when wanting to be an active Dad. This research thus aims to better understand what it means for men to be Dads and how organisations and policy can better support them to be the Dads and leaders/employees they want to be.

As a first stage of this project, we will conduct focus groups with Dads to provide initial insights into barriers and strategies. The rationale for the Dads In Business research project from Kristin Hildenbrand – University of Sheffield Management School.

you can see more about Kristin and her work at the University of Sheffield on her webpage:

How this research project formed

This research stemmed from the work we’ve been doing from our sessions with employers globally around the world talking with dads, In safe space conversations about how they manage their roles. 

Also how and why guilt is showing up, how and why there’s been a rise in anxiety and why distraction is more prevalent than ever and how we explore stigmas around what it means to be a dad. 

Oftentimes there is this role of Mr. Perfect that us. Dads seem to perceive we must strive for and anything less than this is deemed a failure, so trying to achieve Mr. Perfect status leaves us feeling a drift, or pulled apart all over different places. 

I know I had those experiences and it’s very heartening to see that it wasn’t just me, which I think is a very common phrase; the perception that not being perfect is deemed a weakness and is also a lonely path to tread.

It’s just me well through our work that we’ve been doing with employ. 

Years and now at the University of Sheffield Management School, we’re looking about how dads explore and manage their different roles. 

  • We are are in work. 
  • We’re at home
  • We’re the breadwinner (are we??)
  • We’re the partner
  • We have hobbies,
  • We have a personal life. 

There’s a lot of things to juggle and we’re interested to find out how we manage these roles so we can create a better work environment, a better home environment and a happier, more productive Dad both at home and at work.

The research program is starting with a focus group in October, which I’m delighted to be a part of. 

It’s a free to attend 90 minute session where we’ll explore questions about how you manage your multiple roles and touch on topics including what holds us back, what stigmas do we think exist, how are you feeling and about getting back to the workplace 

Many topics will be covered in this 90 minute session. This will lead to guidance and a steer for the wider research project which we are excited to explore throughout the rest of 2021 and more into 2022, and I’ve asked the researchers at the university to think from a more theoretical place of how people explore and manage different roles currently, and how these stigmas appear. 

So I’ll be writing and sharing some articles about this project based on extensive research that the University have carried out, and I’ll be delighted to share that with you as we go. 

It’s a fun project for me, it’s an important project for the Dad and employers around the world.

I can’t wait to see where this research takes us, where the focus group takes us and how I can learn from its findings and hopefully how we can help others explore and improve their experiences of being a Dad and a busy dad at that.

You can book on for free by registering for the online focus group here:

Supporting Men & Dads in the workplace

Download our free guide to help employers create a more inclusive and supportive work environment for men and dads.

Supporting Men & Dads in the workplace

Download our free guide to help employers create a more inclusive and supportive work environment for men and dads.