International Men’s Day: Modern Day Masculinity

International Men’s Day (IMD) in the UK is on 19 November every year. It is marked across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – and the whole world.

IMD is a significant occasion, providing an opportunity to reflect on the well-being of men, their contributions to society, and the challenges they face. In support of this, we wanted to share some of our thoughts and advice for organisations. These insights aren’t just for today but can be implemented every day to help men overcome challenges faced in both the workplace and life in general.

 

Key statistics:

  • Men are less likely to access mental health services (Mental Health Foundation, 2021)
  • In 2022, 75% of suicides were among men (Office for National Statistics, 2022)
  • 87% of rough sleepers are men (Tripp, 2020)
  • One in eight men in England face common mental health problems (Police Mutual, 2023)
  • 1/5 men die before age 65 (Police Mutual, 2023)
  • 75% of premature deaths from heart disease are male (Police Mutual, 2023)

We spoke to Men’s Health speaker, Global Head of Wellbeing @ Philip Morris, Jake Sanders to find out his take on the key areas businesses should be thinking about this topic and this was his response:

  • Men often face societal expectations to conform to traditional notions of masculinity, suppressing their emotions and discouraging vulnerability.
  • The stigma attached to mental health struggles can prevent men from seeking help when needed.
  • Men may hesitate to prioritise family or personal life due to fear of professional repercussions.
  • Creating space within your organisation for men to share concerns and challenges to support better inclusion for all.
  • Looking into training to equip men with the tools they need to positively express their form of masculinity.

Although the statistics are not nice to read what is really encouraging is the role and power corporate organisations have in fostering a healthier environment for men by incorporating the correct approaches.


Below are some of our HumanOS strategies for this area:

1. Promote Men’s Health & Proactive Wellbeing

  • Encourage regular health check-ups – create awareness campaigns encouraging men to schedule regular health check-ups, emphasising the importance of preventive care in maintaining both physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Implement wellness programmes that encompass physical fitness, mental health resources, and nutritional guidance. These initiatives can contribute to a healthier and more productive workforce in general and act as a gateway to encouraging vulnerability and good mental health.

2. Advocate for Gender Equality

  • Dismantle harmful stereotypes – actively challenge harmful stereotypes associated with masculinity, promoting the idea that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. This can be achieved through awareness campaigns and workshops that encourage open conversations about gender norms.
  • Ensure that workplace policies are inclusive, acknowledging the diverse needs and experiences of all employees, irrespective of gender. This includes parental leave policies, flexible working arrangements, and equal opportunities for career advancement.

3. Support Positive Masculinity

  • Foster an environment where boys and men feel free to express a range of emotions. Celebrate positive male role models who exemplify strength through empathy, compassion, and resilience.
  • As you may know by now we are a huge fan of Emotional Intelligence training and providing sessions for employees at all levels, emphasising the importance of understanding and managing emotions in the workplace.

4. Organise Specific Events

  • Host seminars and workshops that specifically focus on men’s mental health, providing a platform for open discussions and the sharing of coping strategies.
  • Fatherhood support programmes – organise events that recognise and support the challenges faced by fathers, offering guidance on maintaining a healthy work-life balance while actively participating in family life. Giving your employees time and space to action these approaches is key here.
  • Provide workshops that address the unique career challenges men may encounter, fostering professional growth and advancement.

5. Engage in Mentorship & Positive Role Models

  • Establish and actively support mentorship programmes that connect experienced professionals with younger generations. These programmes can offer guidance on personal and professional development, creating a supportive network for boys and men. These are also great ways to build relationships within the workforce and allow individuals with different perspectives and experiences to come together and connect.
  • Foster an environment where younger employees can also mentor their more experienced counterparts, promoting a two-way exchange of knowledge and insights.

6. Recognise Achievements & Celebrate Diversity

  • Host ceremonies or events that recognise and celebrate the achievements and contributions of men from diverse backgrounds, acknowledging their impact in various fields and industries.
  • Ensure that recognition events showcase the diversity of accomplishments, highlighting the positive influence of men from different ethnicities, ages, and abilities.

By embracing these strategies, corporate organisations can actively contribute to dismantling stereotypes, promoting wellbeing, and creating a workplace culture that celebrates the diverse contributions of men and supports them on their journey of thriving both personally and professionally.

If you are on the HumanOS platform you can watch our “Men’s Health” Masterclass here.

If you are impacted by any of the above and would like to speak to one of our HumanOS Psychological Therapists you can do so here.

Happy IMD all,

Bianca, co-founder of HumanOS

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