Dads are worth less than Moms, according to a Father’s Day Survey from Insure.com.
A father’s value for the work he does at home is worth $55,000, according to the website that offers quotes on insurance policies.
At Mother’s Day, the company put out a similar survey that estimated moms were worth more than twice what dads are – at $133,000 a year.
How did Insure.com, which is part of Nasdaq-listed QuinStreet’s “expert research and publishing division,” determine dad’s value at home?
It looked at “17 household chores fathers do”. These included: barbecuing and cooking, handling family finances, and mowing the lawn/snow removal.
At Mother’s Day, it ran calculations based on tasks that Insure.com believes moms do around the house – “cooking meals, helping with homework and caregiving”.
I understand the need for PR puffery. It’s a tough job to get clients in front of reporters for doing essentially the same thing that everyone else in their business is doing.
What I take issue with is the shear laziness of the categories by which the worth of mothers and fathers was calculated.
They perpetuate the stereotypes that hold women back at work and make men believe they will be penalized in the office if they’re Lead Dads. It keeps fathers relegated to being Event Dads – asking for a pass to leave work for sporting events, recitals and the occasional elementary school graduation but surely not for general caregiving.
From what we see at The Company of Dads it’s both an antiquated and a pernicious point of view.
I had an amazing conversation this week with Linda Nielsen, a professor at Wake Forest University and the author of several books that seek to end myths around what fathers do and don’t do at home. She ticked off all the ways men and fathers are doing more than surveys like this would let on, particularly on caregiving.
But one thing she said struck me: these myths about fathers are Zombies destined to come back again and again unless we do our part to slay them.
So next year, Insure.com, use your marketing budget to discuss how traditional roles for fathers – and mothers – are changing. Otherwise, your Father’s Day PR stunt is just creating more Zombies.