The importance of fathers in Care-Work - an interview


published december 14th 2023

Maximilian Broschell has been with Rödl & Partner for 6 years and works as a Marketing Manager in the PMC (Public Management Consulting) team. He now has two children, has been on parental leave for some time and has reduced his working hours to care for them. In an interview, he tells us how it all works and why fathers play an important role in mothers' career opportunities.

Max, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. Could you introduce yourself briefly? What do you do at Rödl & Partner?

Yes, I would love to. My name is Max Broschell and I have been with Rödl & Partner for 6 years now and I am a Marketing Manager in the PMC team, i.e. Public Management Consulting - Support for Local Authorities and Municipal Utilities. I support my colleagues in the energy sector with market entry, contacts and so on.

You are a father and have been on parental leave with your two children. Since returning to work, you have also reduced your working hours. How does that work for you?

To be honest, only with good communication. On the one hand, of course, with my wife and family, which is really just communication, especially when you have two children. But also, of course, early communication with the employer, so that a certain transition of parental leave can work, that the reduction in hours can be compensated in the team and long-term projects can be handed over well.

What was the best part of your extended parental leave?

Well, there are many unique moments and many firsts that you experience with your children. Of course, supporting my wife right after the birth and seeing the development of my kids during the subsequent parental leave. And I've also enjoyed working a little to achieve equality as a parent, so that in the best-case scenario the children don't see any difference between mum and dad at a very early age.

Why do you think fewer fathers don't take more than two months' parental leave and feel less committed and involved in caring work?

Honestly, probably money. Let's not forget that fathers on average are a few years older than mothers, so they are likely to be in the labor market longer and probably earn more. So, I think we can honestly say that it's money. And of course, the social expectations and the existing structures, I think that should have covered it.

When you think about your everyday life with your wife and children. How does the shared care system work for you?

Again, communication, communication, communication. Everything must be organized very well. But in principle, the day goes like this: I get up with the kids. I get the children ready in the morning and take them to the nursery, soon to be joined by the second, younger child. My wife is a teacher, so she's usually out of the house before I get up with the kids. Otherwise, we strictly divide up putting the kids to bed, alternating from left to right. And apart from that, as I said, you're constantly making arrangements and seeing how you're going to handle everything.

What do you think is the link between parental leave for fathers and career opportunities for women?

Frankly, a lot. I believe that affirmative action and similar programmes for women can work, but only if the partner takes the back seat to the woman who wants to pursue a career. In principle, this only works if the partner sacrifices resources such as time, energy and, in the early years, sleep, so that the partner can focus on her career sooner. The longer you are out of the work environment, the harder it is to get back in. I think a lot of things are connected and I think a lot more attention needs to be paid to this. Only committed or involved fathers can help their women to climb the career ladder earlier, faster and higher.

What advice would you give to fathers or fathers-to-be who are considering whether and for how long to take parental leave?

Honestly, nothing. This is a very personal and individual decision that needs to be taken in partnership. I don't have a recipe, but what I can advise is to keep a window of 2-4 weeks after the birth open to support your wife, so that you can get used to the new situation and the various changes. But in the end, it's up to you to decide if and for how long you want to take parental leave. I can highly recommend it, it's a lot of fun. You also look forward to going back to work when you spend so much time with young kids and toddlers (laughs).

Thank you Max for your insights into parental leave and your tips for fathers and fathers-to-be.


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Maximilian Broschell

+49 911 9193 3501

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Hariklia Horsch

+49 911 9193 1776

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