Dr Steven Wagner is a lecturer in International Security, Steven took shared parental leave which he found a wonderful and challenging experience for his family and colleagues and students at Brunel.
With 16 weeks at full pay, Steven explains how shared parental leave gave him a chance to fulfil his share of responsibilities as a new father. He said: “As the main carer during this period, I was able to bond with my child and watch his developments day to day. It was a wonderful experience, especially since this took place just as he became mobile and began to learn to play, eat and communicate in basic ways.”
Steven adds: “It gave me time to adjust to our new reality, to bond with my child, and to perform well once I returned to work. Moreover, this time was good for me, it was good for my child, my partner, and my colleagues. This policy exemplifies an important way in which Brunel can lead the industry, and society, toward family friendly policies so that all may enjoy the same benefits.”
“We travelled to the United States for my partner’s work, where I was able to take care of our child while she led a major international conference. We also travelled to our family in Canada, where our son got to meet his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and to experience a classic Calgary April snowstorm.”
“I hope that my taking up the scheme also helped by affecting perceptions of normal gender roles in a family, thereby challenging the unconscious biases of all those involved. I hope other men will also take advantage of the personal and professional benefits involved.”
Steven also highlights the positive effects of Brunel’s policy on his colleagues and team. He said: “Early career researchers who took on my teaching gained experience and new lines on their CV’s. By broadening their teaching repertoire, they improved their employability. It also gave our students the perspective of a second instructor, with their particular expertise.”
“Shared Parental Leave isn’t just sound social policy, it leads to good pedagogy.”
Shared Parental Leave isn’t just sound social policy, it leads to good pedagogy.