Today is International Men’s Day – a day to raise greater awareness of the issues and inequalities men and boys face in their lives as well as highlighting positive male role models.
Over the past few weeks, in response to this day of celebration, we have heard the same question asked many times – isn’t every day International Men’s Day?
Working in Gender Diversity the past 10 years we can reel out a whole list of statistics which would support this view:
-in 2016, in London alone, men got paid £70 billion more than women
-on current trends the overall global gender gap won’t be closed for another 100 years
-men are 40% more likely to be promoted into management roles than women
Despite many years of corporations tackling these issues, it has not translated into meaningful progress.
As a mother to an 18 year old daughter, this lack of progress, from a personal point of view, is clearly a worry.
However, I also have a teenage son. Therefore it is equally important that awareness is raised so that as a society we work on the inequalities and challenges that men and boys face. Thanks to International Men’s Day we now know that:
-young men account for 70% of long-term youth unemployment
-male graduates are 50% more likely to be unemployed
-seven out of ten murder victims are male
The point is that any inequality is simply not right. We should all be working to limit any unfairness, in any part of our society, in any situation. The first step though is to recognise this, and then, and only then, will things progress. Surely between us, we should be smart enough and bright enough to work this out and to find the solutions.
The Gandhi quote on the International Men’s Day website sums this up perfectly:
It is only when we all, both men and women, lead by example that we will create a fair and safe society which allows everyone the opportunity to prosper.
We couldn’t agree more! A little while back we started interviewing senior leaders, mostly men (because in 2018 they still are mostly men), to see how they are leading. Many of these positive and amazing role models had not even realised that their actions would bring about better equality and in particular gender equality. They took these actions because they were the right thing to do, the right way to lead in the 2020s.
What they shared is fascinating and a very clear blueprint has formed based on what these senior men (and women) do differently on a day to day level that has led to a more gender balanced team, more senior women in that team and higher female talent retention. These subtle differences have greatly changed the results.
Over the coming months we will share the findings from these ‘Champion Interviews’ and hope their stories and strategies will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
So here’s to International Men’s day! These issues sit with all of us. So does the power. So let’s join forces and use it.