2 minute read.
It came to our attention this week that Sunday the 19th of November was International Men’s Day but we could have been forgiven for missing it. There was no Google doodle to mark the occasion, there was no flurry of event invitations to our inbox – you’ll remember of course International Women’s Day, every 8 March rightly celebrated, endorsed by superstars and reported upon across the globe.
No such fuss for International Men’s Day and that’s a problem.
Men have had a bad rap recently, the most powerful country in the world is ruled by a man who seemingly can get away with anything whilst revelations from Hollywood surrounding Weinstein and Spacey to name a few do not help the image of men presented to the world, but these types of men are not the ones International Men’s Day urges us to celebrate or listen to.
The quiet passing of International Men’s Day is exactly what the day seeks to avoid, men don’t talk about their feelings, suicide and drug overdose are more common in men, more men are rough sleepers, male victims of violence and abuse are not adequately supported or provided for. Men are negatively impacted by gender inequalities and stereotypes and it is this which the day serves to highlight.
The day is also one of celebration and appreciation of men, their achievements and positive contribution to society and here’s the good news, there were over 70 events in the UK celebrating International Men’s Day this year (in 2012 there were a dozen events) – one of which was a parliamentary debate , charities including ManKind and CALM ran initiatives to highlight the causes and celebrities including Sarah Millican and Amanda Holden showed their support.
In our business, we see many more men in IT and Tech leadership roles, but we also see initiatives and drivers to encourage change and this a hugely positive thing. It’s this desire to address inequalities and promote change which is the important factor. Men need positive role models as well, men have health and wellbeing needs, men are discriminated against and men provide worthwhile contributions to society, family, marriage, child care and the environment, and that is most definitely worth shouting about.
After all, it’s not equality if we’re only supporting and celebrating 50% of us.