Dove Men+Care will award $5,000 grants to 200 fathers who don't get more than 10 days of paid leave from their jobs.

By Maressa Brown

February 20, 2019

As a greater number of companies offer paid leave, far too many new parents are shortchanged adequate time with their little one. And while maternity leave is hugely important, it would be a shame to underestimate just how far paternity leave goes to helping dads are given time to bond with their child and boost their parenting skills. Cornell University research has shown that fathers who take paid leave are more likely to be involved in parenting in the long-term and experience perks like a healthier heart, a longer life, and better relationships with their partners.

The good news is catching on: A 2018 study conducted by Dove found that 50% of dads believe that they should take leave, and 87% of dads report being more satisfied with their lives when they can be the caregivers they want to be, according to the Department of Labor. At the same time, less than one in five employers offers dads paid leave, according to a 2014 Families & Work Institute study. Clearly, there's far more work to be done to give dads the time off they need and deserve, which is why Dove Men+Care launched their new Pledge for Paternity Leave campaign.

The personal care brand plans to award $5,000 grants to 200 dads who don't get more than 10 days of paid leave from their jobs. They're partnering with Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit and husband of Serena Williams, to give out $1 million as part of their campaign.

"Through my own experience becoming a father, I saw firsthand the importance of taking paternity leave and being there for my family during a critical time in our lives," Alexis Ohanian, co-founder and managing partner of Initialized Capital, said in a press release. "No dad should have to sacrifice taking leave, and I've been very public about taking mine in an effort to show other men that you can still be an ambitious businessperson while also taking time for your family. And it's not just fathers who reap the benefits – it's in the best interest of families, workplaces and communities to support dads in taking leave. Working with Dove Men+Care, I will continue to try to tackle some of the societal stigmas that exist around paternity leave, and advocate for paid leave to be a right for dads everywhere."

Nick Soukas, VP of Skin Cleansing and Baby Care for Dove’s parent company, Unilever, said in the release, "Our goal is to increase utilization rates of paid paternity leave for those men who have access to it and encourage other companies to come together and offer men paid paternity leave so they can take the time to care for their families."

This is far from the first time Unilever has made headlines for supporting working families. They were actually named the #1 workplace on the Working Mother 100 Best Companies list in 2018.

To learn more about the campaign, visit to take The Pledge for Paternity Leave. You can show your support for deserving dads everywhere on social using #PaternityLeavePledge, and share your reason for pledging by tagging @dovemencare on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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