This week we hosted a webinar, with guest speaker David Willans, founder of beingdads.com. Our theme was something very close to our hearts – positive male role models.
When first researching our topic for this year’s discuss, we were saddened to read the following:
‘Even in homes where the father is present, research shows that the average father spends less than 10 minutes a day one-on-one with his child. In our society, emotional and spiritual fatherlessness is becoming the norm. Many of today’s fathers did not have positive role models to show them how to be a father, so they are not there to show their children what it means to be a father.
No matter how great a mother is, she cannot replace what a father provides to a child. Irrefutable research shows that mothers are typically nurturing, soft, gentle, comforting, protective and emotional. Fathers tend to encourage risk-taking and to be challenging, prodding, loud, playful and physical. Children need a balance of protection and reasonable risk-taking. If a positive male role model isn't around, there is a void in this child's life. Children without positive male role models are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, premarital sexual activity, do poorer in school and participate in unhealthy activities.’
Our webinar helped to open up the discussion around what we can all do – as men, women, parents, employees, managers, aunts and uncles - to encourage the men in our lives and in organisations to consider themselves as role models to the next generation.
We shared the following shocking statistics, which help us understand immediately why the lack of male role models is a problem:
92% of lone-parent households are headed by mothers. 1 million children in the UK are growing up without any contact with their fathers
Only 19.9% of all school staff in the UK are male
62,000 fewer boys/men go to university every year than girls/women
Every year, fewer men than women are becoming teachers, GP’s, dentists, vets and lawyers
Following the webinar, an attendee emailed us:
I have just got off the ‘Male Role Models’ video call with you both and am really inspired by what you are going after.
I’m a Dad and love being Dad and try to set an example by the way I live in wanting to be an active parent. And I truly believe that we need Dad and Mum role models in all areas of life to see us all become the best and who we have been made to be! One of my observations around the British (& business) culture is that we aren’t good at talking about ourselves, what it is being a Dad and how we are living out being a Dad. So thank you for making the difference in what you are doing.
How you can help every day
David presented us with a very powerful Thomas Jefferson quote for reflection – ‘whenever you do anything, act as if the world were watching.’ David challenged us to think about this in the context of our children watching us at work – are we role modelling the behaviours we would be proud for them to see? Are we helping to create a positive workplace of the future?
Please get in touch if you would like to request the webinar recording, or to discuss how we can get these conversations going in your organisation - firstname.lastname@example.org