The Men and Boys Coalition has launched a guide to help more employers get involved with International Men’s Day this year and support their male staff, their community and to underpin their equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) commitments. It is aimed at those who want to get involved but need help with ideas alongside persuading those who have not thought about getting involved, to do so.
The guide is available here
The Men and Boys Coalition, which oversees International Men’s Day in the UK (Friday 19 November), has seen the day grow in popularity over the past decade with employers and organisations using it as a reason to hold wellbeing events and activities for male members of staff in all their diversity. There were around 200 UK events and organisations involved in 2020 (despite the pandemic) and this has grown from about ten at the start of the last decade.
International Men’s Day is centred on three broad themes which allows as many people and organisations to take part in the best way they see fit.
- Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys (see notes for editors for a range of issues)
- Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing
- Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity
International Men’s Day provides a great opportunity to use the platform as a way of supporting male employees:
- Raising awareness of the support available to them including by others (charities)
- Recognising issues that affect their wellbeing and the help you provide
- Raising funds for related charities and also in a way that is positive, fun, instructive and engaging
Often the employee events and campaigns are organised by HR departments, EDI leads, CSR managers, internal welfare staff groups/committees and employer fundraising teams. The guide sets out some ideas for those involved in these roles, to help more employers to take part and to ultimately provide more wellbeing support to male members of staff. It recognises that the better the wellbeing of male employees, the better the wellbeing of female employees too.
The guide also lists a range of ideas from
- Health events (how to check for prostate cancer, wellbeing/mindfulness, mental health)
- Creating videos and/or use social media;
- Signposting men and boys to charities and organisations that can help them – great for employers (intranets, leaflets);
- Holding fun events to fundraise for local charities supporting men and boys wellbeing issues.
The guide also list examples from employers such as UK Civil Service, Legal and General, The Institute of Underwriters, Next, Standard Chartered, Network Homes and The Royal College of Nursing.
Mark Brooks OBE, National Ambassador for International Men’s Day UK, said: “International Men’s Day has really taken off in the last few years as a way for organisations to support their male employees and show their appreciation for what they contribute. Many use it to help them with their wellbeing, support the community by fundraising for charities and to underpin their EDI work. It is a really inclusive platform so everyone in organisations can get involved.
“With the increasing focus on issues such mental health and wellbeing, male cancers, workplace safety, education/skills and fatherhood, International Men’s Day is a perfect time for organisation to demonstrate their wider commitment to their male staff.
“With over 200 events last year, we are confident of even more in 2021 and this guide is aimed at supporting those employers who want to get involved for the first time, with a range of ideas that will help them.”
The Men and Boys Coalition charity is responsible for International Men’s Day in the UK and oversees the brand, themes and website. The charity has over 100 members made up of organisations, academics, journalists, commentators and leaders who are committed to taking action on the gender-specific issues that affect men and boys. It vision is for a society that values the wellbeing of men and boys.
Notes to Editors
1 The employer guide can be found here: https://ukmensday.org.uk/employer-guide/
Direct link: Employer Guide to International Men’s Day in the UK
The International Men’s Day UK website can be found at: www.ukmensday.org.uk and the list of UK events can be found at www.ukmensday.org.uk/events. The international # is #internationalmensday and the UK Twitter account is @ukmensday
2. These core themes help to address some of the issues that affect men and boys such as:
- The high male suicide rate
- The challenges faced by boys and men at all stages of education and work including attainment, re-training, redundancy and unemployment
- Men’s health (including male cancers), shorter life expectancy and workplace deaths – plus the health impact of Covid-19
- The challenges faced by the most marginalised men and boys in society (for instance, homeless men, boys in care, school exclusions and the high rate of male deaths in custody)
- Male victims of violence, including sexual violence
- The challenges faced by men as parents, particularly new fathers and separated fathers
- Male victims and survivors of sexual abuse, rape, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based crime, stalking and slavery
- The negative portrayal of men, boys and fathers
3 For further information, please contact Mark Brooks OBE on via contact@ukmensday. org.uk or 07834 452357