Tuesday 19th November marks International Men’s Day, when companies and organisations around the world will be celebrating positive male role models and working to raise awareness of men’s well-being at home and in the workplace. Founded in 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, the day is designed to highlight men’s and boy’s mental health, focus on improving gender relations and gender equality, and recognise male role models who actively and positively contribute to communities, places of work, friendships, families, marriages, and childcare.
At Connect Three we are heading to Family Friendly Working Scotland’s “Being a Working Man in 2019” event today which looks at flexible working for men in the 21st century. When we celebrated International Women’s Day as a team earlier in the year, we held a workshop and reflected on ways in which we could balance our professional and personal lives for the better. This is a problem faced by men as much as women in our society, so a key mission for us on International Men’s Day, and beyond, is to work towards Scottish men being offered the same family friendly, and life friendly, flexible working opportunities as women.
At tonight’s session, senior business leaders in Glasgow will come together to discuss why and how more men need to be encouraged and supported to work flexibly. Currently, far fewer men than women work flexibly which is a problem for men, society, our economy and gender equality.
Studies have shown that men who do work flexibly find it is good for their wellbeing and their relationships; and employers find that it is good for business as it engenders more loyal and committed staff. However, many men who want to work more flexibly find it difficult and feel it is not always acceptable in the workplace or society.
For too long, the gender equality conundrum has been left to women to fix and flexible working has been a woman’s issue, but women are also looking for more men to work flexibly as this is considered to be the key solution to reducing the gender pay gap.
Tonight’s conversation will centre on what can be gained by men, women, business and society, when more men work flexibly and when men help to drive the conversation forward.
It wouldn’t be right to sign off without saying a huge Connect Three thanks to the men in our team – Colin, Craig and David. You make what we do one of the best jobs in the world, thank you!