Skip to Content
Back to Press Room Survey Shows 40 Percent of Working Fathers Willing to Relinquish Breadwinner Role

CHICAGO, June 10, 2003 - More men have become willing to give up the traditional role as breadwinner to be stay-at-home dads, according to a survey. Four-in-ten working fathers indicated they would likely leave their current jobs if their spouse or partner earned enough money for them to live comfortably. The survey, "A Portrait of Working Fathers 2003," was conducted from March 20 to March 27, 2003 of 353 working fathers with children at home under the age of 18.

"Men today are more comfortable with sharing the role of provider and are willing to rethink traditional work arrangements if it means they can spend more time at home," said Scott Brueggeman, vice president of Consumer Marketing for "Women now comprise around 50 percent of the workforce, 20 percent higher than in the 1950s. We are seeing a paradigm shift in how households are managed with more men taking on responsibilities previously thought to be assumed by women and vice versa. This shift is slowly evolving, however, with men more often serving as the primary breadwinner and working longer hours than women."

Working fathers reported they worked longer hours each workweek than working mothers. Sixty-five percent of fathers reported they worked in excess of 40 hours each workweek as compared to 36 percent of working mothers. One-quarter of fathers worked more than 50 hours a week compared to 11 percent of mothers.

Working longer hours means having less time to spend with family, especially when travel is involved with one's job. Working fathers were more likely to travel on business than working mothers. Fifty-four percent of fathers indicated they were asked to travel overnight for work compared to 24 percent of mothers.

"A common question heard in many households is 'when will Dad be home?'" said Brueggeman. "Being absent from home is taking its toll on working fathers as they contend with the pressure to be involved at home plus meet the demands of their jobs. One-half of working fathers reported they worked under a great deal of stress."

Working fathers have limited time with their children due to the burden of longer working hours and the tendency to travel on business. They reported spending less time with their children after work as compared to working mothers. After work, 44 percent of working fathers spent three to six hours with their children while 55 percent of working mothers spent the same amount of time with their children. Twenty-seven percent of fathers spent 2 hours or less with their children as compared to 14 percent of mothers.

When it comes to pitching in at home, 34 percent of fathers cooked dinner four to five times during the week as compared to 60 percent of working mothers. Twenty-two percent of fathers reported they never cooked dinner during the workweek as compared to only two percent of working mothers.

To try to improve their balance of work and life, 24 percent of fathers depended on a flexible work schedule while 18 percent took personal days. Fathers also altered their daily work schedule, leaving work early to attend events involving their children and spend more time with family. Seventy-two percent of fathers reported these work style adjustments had not impacted the progress of their careers.

Survey Methodology
The CareerBuilder survey, "A Portrait of Working Fathers 2003," was conducted from March 20 to March 27, 2003 of more than 353 full-time working fathers. To collect data for the survey, CareerBuilder commissioned SurveySite to use an e-mail methodology whereby individuals who are members of SurveySite Web Panel were randomly selected and approached by e-mail invitation to participate in the online survey. The results of this survey are accurate within +/- 5.2 percent.

About is a leading online source for maximizing recruitment dollars and optimizing job searches with superior products, customer service and technology. With a unique combination of national, local and niche audiences, makes it easy for recruiters to reach the most qualified candidates with industry-leading market research data and support. Job seekers can search for the right job from more than 400,000 continuously updated postings, representing more than 25,000 of the top employers in virtually every industry, field and location. Together with Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB), and Knight Ridder, Inc. (NYSE:KRI), includes the Web's top newspaper sites - the most trusted employment sources in recruiting. For more information about products and services, call 888-670-TEAM or visit at

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164