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Alpha Dads: Men Get Serious About Work-Life Balance

A new generation of Alpha Dads is done being office slaves. Is it possible that men are better than women at solving the work-life dilemma?
Alpha Dads: Men Get Serious About Work-Life Balance
Photograph by Jamie Chung for Bloomberg Businessweek

How this week's cover got made
“ ‘Work-life balance’ is one of these terms that tends to get overused,” says Rob Lanoue, a partner with Deloitte’s consulting group in Toronto. “It’s ‘balanced/unbalanced,’ ” chips in colleague Andrew Hamer, a senior consultant.

Lanoue, 43, in an open-collar shirt and sporting a wall clock-size dive watch, exudes a relaxed jock vibe, while Hamer, 29, is more hunky corporate hipster, with a beard, jeans, and checked blazer. They, along with Jonathan Magder, 35, a slender, mellow-voiced manager in Deloitte’s corporate strategy group, are eating breakfast across the street from their office, spearing eggs and discussing how they juggle their careers and families. In its contours, the conversation happens countless times a day among groups of women. This male version also touches on the challenges of getting home for bath time, showing up at recitals, and how all that must be reconciled with driving ambition. The only thing missing is the guilt and self-flagellation, which, if they were women, would be accumulating on the floor in puddles around their feet. You might call them “Alpha Dads,” guys who are as serious about their parenting as they are about making partner. What they illustrate is that men might actually be better at handling women’s issues than women. They don’t believe in “balance.” They believe in getting what they want, even if it’s time to yell at their 5-year-olds from the sidelines of a soccer game on a Wednesday afternoon.