kiwi dads
kiwi dads
Whakanui i ngā Pāpā | Celebrating Fatherhood


Shining a light on the role of fathers as part of a global initiative to advance parental leave equality


About Kiwi Dads

Inspired by the iconic Swedish Dads photo exhibition, Global Women and Parents At Work have co-created Kiwi Dads – a collection of images depicting fathers at home with their children. It is designed to shine a light on the important roles fathers play in caring for their families as part of a global initiative to advance parental leave equality.

This campaign encourages organisations to adopt a shared parental-leave approach: to offer the same leave equally to fathers and mothers, regardless of who is the primary caregiver. The photos are of 13 Kiwi dads from different parts of New Zealand.


Less than 2% of dads take parental leave in New Zealand

When we actively promote men and women as equal carers, we have the opportunity to narrow the gender pay gap, boost workplace productivity and support parents to achieve both their family and work goals.

Global studies show…


Men increasingly want to spend more time caring for their children


Fathers taking a role in childcare leads to better outcomes for children


Millennial men value parental leave and on-site childcare

Parental leave normalises fatherhood in the workplace by making fathers visible and embedding fatherhood into company culture. When men can be more equal at home, women can be more equal in the workplace.

Introducing Kiwi Dads

These beautiful portraits were captured by photographer Sarah Weber



FACTSHEET: The Importance of Parental Leave

It is vital that men, as well as women, take parental leave. This ensures that women are not penalised in the hiring process – when men and women are equally likely
to take parental leave, there is no disadvantage in hiring a woman.

How to Share Parental Leave

The Institute for Public Policy Research reported that reducing the gender pay gap ‘requires an equalisation of the lifetime hours that men and women work, through both better return-to-work policies, and more men taking time out of the labour market and working flexibly, to distribute caring responsibilities more evenly.’

Report: Shared parental leave: learning from other EU countries

Gender equality in the workplace
cannot be achieved until there is equality at home. This factsheet demonstrates
how we can learn from the EU countries leading the way.

Fathers want to take care of their children, too

The report by the Commons equalities committee outlines how hard it can be for fathers in male-dominated – read macho – working environments to ask for parental leave. Dads who worked part-time to accommodate childcare told the committee of finding themselves mocked by co-workers.

72% of Australians say dads deserve more parental leave

Randstad’s 2019 Return to Work Report surveyed 1000 Australians, with 59% saying they believe the most difficult thing for fathers following the birth of a child was finding a balance between childcare and financially supporting their family. The lack of paid leave and flexible working arrangements came a close second.

Report’s recommendations to close the unpaid care gap

New research across seven countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, UK, and US) finds that 85 percent* of fathers say that they would be willing to do anything to be very involved in the early weeks and months of caring for their newly born or adopted child. So, what’s holding them back?

What’s On: Kiwi Dads photographic exhibition raises awareness for equal parental leave

Paid parental leave for both mums and dads is a critical step towards gender equity. Paid parental leave for each parent fosters a more equal division of unpaid care, improves family work-life balance, and contributes to an increase in women’s workforce participation.

TVNZ: Spotify finds success with six-month paid parental leave programme for both dads and mums

Michael Kim, the Swedish music streaming service's head of HR for Australasia, told Seven Sharp the initiative saw employee retention rates come close to 100 per cent.

Stuff: Dads call for more support for fathers to take parental leave

If they are the primary caregiver of a child younger than 6, men can also get 22 weeks of paid leave from the Government, capped at $585.80 per week before tax - provided their partner does not also claim the payments too. However, hardly any men access this.


Why don't more dads take parental leave?

Our expectations of fathers are changing. Gone are the days when fathers were considered somehow an optional extra to the parenting process… And yet there's something stuck for dads. Something is standing in the way of them responding to those demands by being around more.

Kiwi Dads has been co-created by

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About Global Women

When men and women are more equal in the home, they can be more equal at work. Equal access to parental leave is crucial to helping us close the gender pay gap and build a more resilient, productive and welcoming New Zealand. 

At Global Women, we encourage equality and diversity in leadership through promoting, encouraging and facilitating the development of New Zealand women. 

We have over 300 members, each one recognised for her ability to influence and advocate for diversity, equality and leadership. Our leadership programmes have accelerated the careers of more than 400 women. We also provide thought leadership, research, information and advice for those who wish to join us in speaking out for positive change. 

We are proud to partner with and support some of New Zealand’s most ambitious organisations, representing more than 110,000 employees. 

For more information, go to

About Parents At Work

Parents At Work is a world leading provider of education and coaching services for workplaces, parents, carers and leaders. Over 100,000 families have benefited from the support provided by the Parents At Work team since 2007. 

Parents At Work is a membership-based organisation for employers to join and be recognised as a family friendly workplace. Employers gain access to global thought leadership, as well as best practice solutions to support their working parents, carers and leaders. 

Parents At Work is leading a parental leave equality campaign aimed at workplaces and the community to normalise and support fathers share the caring for their children. Parents At Work was recognised in 2015 by the Australian Human Rights Commission for our work in supporting working parents and contributing to gender equity goals. 

For more information, go to

About the Embassy of Sweden

The Embassy represents and advances Swedish policies, interests and values in political and economic relations, development cooperation, trade and investment promotion and in cultural and information matters. It provides consular services to Swedish nationals and migration services to non-nationals.


And we couldn’t have achieved this without the generous support of

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Dads around the world

Swedish Dads

Sweden was the first country in the world to replace maternity leave with parental leave, in 1974. More than 40 years later, fathers take roughly 25 per cent of the total number of days available to the couple. If fathers’ paternity leave continues to increase at the same pace it has kept so far during the 21st century, the use of parental leave will not be gender equal until 2040. 

Swedish Dads is a photo exhibition based on portraits of fathers who choose to stay home with their babies for at least six months. Photographer Johan Bävman examines why these fathers have chosen to stay home with their children, what the experience has given them, and how their relationship with both their partners and their children has changed as a result. The exhibition aims to show the effects of gender equality in parenting on both individuals and society.

Aussie Dads

In September 2017, Parents At Work commissioned Johan Bävman to curate a series of photographs to exhibit Australian fathers who had taken parental leave as part of an advocacy initiative to promote the need to support more men to participate in sharing the caring load and take primary parental leave. 

The Aussie' Dads photographic collection is a not-for-profit initiative, touring internationally alongside Swedish Dads. It was designed to start a conversation, in our workplaces and community to improve and widen the opportunities for men to equally participate in parental leave and engage in flexible work by challenging gender stereotypes and stigma around sharing the caring load in Australia.


Media Enquiries

For press and media enquiries please contact Wright Communications on + 64 22 312 5821 or the Global Women team at or +64 9 300 6348.