International Men's Day aims to celebrate the contribution that men can make to their families, communities and workplaces. It is also an opportunity, as Mahatma Gandhi said, for men to “become the change we seek” by role modelling positive behaviors.
Wouldn't it be great if this International Men's Day we took the time to celebrate positive role models of shared responsibility - be that shared caring, sharing the household tasks or standing up for women in the workplace?
In my previous blog 'Where is the Shared Caring Revolution' I touched on some of the structural barriers to shared caring including lack of role models and unequal shared parental leave pay. I think this International Men's Day we could all go further and ask father's to share their stories on social media of being a working parent, warts and all. We increasingly see women having these more honest conversations around the challenges of working motherhood but to really move the shared caring revolution forward we need a discussion of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to the barriers that men are facing in actively engaging in the shared caring revolution.
In office won't it be splendid if used International Men's Day to celebrate men who have supported women to take the next step in their career or have helped support a women facing discrimination in the workplace? It could be a day when we recognize that to 'fix' the workplace and reduce the impact on women of the Ideal Worker narrative we also need men to want to actively engage in role modelling change and be recognized for their contribution.
Both men and women would like to see equality and diversity in action as real lived experiences of everyone. The reality is that we all need to be pulling together in the right direction for that to happen and International Men's Day seems like a good day to really start the ball rolling...
All opinions are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.