As someone who's as committed to equality as we are, you'll know that it's only by both men and women working together that we can improve. That's why this year we are once again celebrating International Men’s Day on 19th November.
This year’s theme is something very close to our hearts – positive male role models. We work with organisations to help them create a family-friendly culture – and to do this, it needs to be common practice that men take more time to spend with their families. It is saddening to read on the International Men’s Day website:
‘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.’
How can we encourage the men in our workplaces and organisations to consider themselves as role models to the next generation?
Consider putting on workshops/lunch and learns/webinars or even informal chats to discuss themes such as:
- Work/family balance
- Transition to fatherhood at work
- Practicing patience for dads
- Time management for working dads
- Working flexibly
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can help you with any of the above. We are lucky enough to have David Willans on our team, founder of beingdads.com, who is so passionate to help support organisational change in this area.