IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE research on shared parental leave features in UK premiere of acclaimed exhibition

19 June 2018

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) academic Dr Katherine Twamley has joined forces with Swedish photographer Johan Bavman in a UK premiere of a series of photographs on parental leave.

Johan Bavman - Swedish Dads

The exhibition 'Swedish Dads' launched on Father's Day (17 June) and features internationally acclaimed photographs that illustrate the lives of 23 Swedish dads who chose to stay home with their families for at least six months.

It is believed this shared parental leave approach allows fathers to be more hands-on and re-balance their work and family commitment and could also help to close the gender pay gap too, by enabling mothers to return to work and keep their careers going, while their partner takes on the childcare role.

Dr Katherine Twamley's research on parental leave in the UK is featured alongside the photographs. Dr Twamley's research found that 7.4% of expectant mothers intend to take shared parental leave. The main factors cited for lack of take-up are finances and worries over fathers' careers.

Knowledge of and access to shared parental leave is correlated with education, ethnicity and home ownership and Dr Twamley suggests future research and policy design should attend to such issues to ensure equitable access across families.

Through the photographs and quotes from the dads themselves, the exhibition highlights the experience that extended parental leave has given fathers and how their lives have changed for the better as a result.

The exhibition launched with a variety of activities designed to get families thinking about fathers' and other carers' roles including arts and crafts, a family portrait room and story-telling.

The exhibition follows an international event on shared parental leave that took place at UCL Institute of Education last week.

The event was designed to encourage businesses in the UK to address the imbalance in the support provided for parental leave, through policy and system changes - and by taking a positive approach to flexible working for dads and partners.

Swedish Dads runs until 1 July at Southlands Arts Centre, from 2-6pm every day.

Media contact

Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations
+44 (0)20 3108 8516



Copyright: ©2018 Johan Bävman