Ian Dinwiddy, Founder of Inspiring Dads
Ian has 10 years’ experience working as a Management Consultant specialising in Operational Change and has worked with major retailers such as Tesco, Sainsburys and B&Q, and food manufacturers including Uniq, United Biscuits and Samworth Brothers.
He spent seven years combining freelance work with being a primary carer to his children (who are now 9 and 6) including two stints as a “full time” stay at home Dad. He is married to Lisa, a London based funds lawyer. He qualified as a coach in March 2017 and outside of work he has umpired at the highest levels of domestic field hockey in England.
Ian is a contributor to Workingdads.co.uk, Daddyjobs.co.uk and the Talent Keeper Specialists’ Comeback Community™ platform. He is also a mentor on the Daddilife co-sponsored #DadConnect pilot programme.
As founder of Inspiring Dads, Ian has created a coaching, mentoring and support programme called the “6 Steps to Working Dad Success.” The programme is designed to help men understand what they truly want and design a work life balance that works for the benefit of their family. Learn more about our services.
After 7 years of management consultancy, shortly after his first child was born, Ian became a ‘Stay at Home Dad’ which he successfully mixed with freelance work and national league hockey umpiring.
In 2018 Inspiring Dads Ltd was born.
THE SEVEN-YEAR ITCH THEN?
Management Consultancy was never going to be a great fit with our primary, family goal of one of us always ‘being there for the children. So, I took the bit of consultancy that I loved, and retrained as a coach before discovering my niche. I realised I wanted to help and support those men whose work-life balance is causing them stress.
WHY ‘MEN’ AND WHY ‘WORK-LIFE BALANCE’?
Within the coaching industry you’ll find plenty of Life Coaches who specialise in working with female clients and you’ll find executive coaching designed to improve work performance.
What you won’t find is coaching and support to help men be successful at ‘life’. When men become dads, it is as much of an upheaval and an emotional and practical challenge as it is for women.
HAVEN’T MEN ALWAYS BEEN CONSIDERED THE ‘HUNTER-GATHERERS’?
Surveys tell us that men want to spend time with their children, but society and the workplace is conditioned to treat men as providers (and women as carers).
66 per cent of the GQ State Of Man survey respondents chose “being a present father” as the number one aspect of modern masculinity.
Men who seek to spend more time with their families are treated with suspicion and are seen as ‘not committed.’ In fact, rather than spending more time with their new families men end up working harder and longer.
'There’s a fear of missing out on career opportunities if you even request flexible working.'
'If you’ve reached the limit of your ambition you ask for flexible working.'
Lack of good work-life balance causes massive amounts of stress and potential relationship breakdown.
“If there's one thing I wish we'd done better, it would have been to have those really honest discussions - rather than the more off-hand comments and observations - about the work life balance for both of us, including as a couple and as parents.
But hey - we live and learn, eh?!”
IS THERE POSITIVE NEWS?
The good news is that there is a whole generation of dads who understand that the old model of one parent, commonly the man, being 'all in' for work is looking increasingly old fashioned, even archaic.
WHAT DO DADS REALLY WANT?
Simple really – to be a great dad AND have a great career.
There are 3 key elements
👉 They want to be happy and they want their families to be happy.
👉 They want to see more of their children and have better quality time when they have it.
👉 They work as not where you do it, but what you do.
Flexible working has a key role to play in facilitating improved work-life balance.
DOES FLEXIBLE WORKING FOR MEN MATTER?
It would be very easy to dismiss this as men finding out what women have known for a long time, it's hard to have it all. At Inspiring Dads we see this as an opportunity… By harnessing the energy and desire of a new generation of dads, we can design a new way of living and working and unlock profound benefits for everyone.
When men are unable to access flexible working, too often it is women who are obliged to take lower paid roles in order to gain the flexibility that they require for family childcare commitments.
This reinforces the gender pay gap that develops long before adults become parents, as assumptions about childcare and parenting responsibilities discriminate against women and trap men in the cycle of men as providers, women as carers.
WHAT ARE THE POSITIVES?
When men are supported and inspired to access flexible working
✅ Dads would be happier
✅ Families would be happier
✅ There would be genuine choice as to how to divide childcare responsibilities.
✅ The gender pay gap would reduce.
YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE?
Men using their power, voice and agency to seek out and achieve flexible working, normalising it for everyone.
It’s time to inspire, support and challenge Dads to make changes for everyone’s benefit.