Workplaces need to do more to support the 'modern man' - new poll

International Men's Day

A new poll has revealed that while many of the negative behaviours traditionally associated with men are dying out in the workplace, there is still a lot of work to be done to support the needs of men that want to be more involved in family life.

The research, carried out by culture change business Utopia and The Hobbs Consultancy, found that while almost half (46 percent) of men thought it is now their responsibility to be the primary carer for their children, only a third (35 percent) thought their workplaces had a formal policy of inclusiveness that showed an understanding that work can have an impact on their lives, from parental pressures to mental health or sickness.

From flexible working hours and working from home to last minute childcare, parenting comes with challenges made easier with an accommodating employer. Research found that one in five men (21 percent) say their employers actively discourage them from taking on parenting duties that may affect their work. A mere 11 percent thought their boss is comfortable with them taking unexpected days off due to child sickness showing a distinct lack of flexibility and support.
The research also revealed that both men and women face challenges in flexibility to work from home when needed with 28 percent of all workers claiming their employer actively discourages them from working from home.

Daniele Fiandaca, co-founder of culture change business Utopia, says: “Recent focus has been on the changes that women need to make to fit into a masculine workplace, when we should be focusing on creating more inclusive workplaces which work for all genders. Blokey banter might be dying out, but traditional masculine traits are still hindering modern businesses, and this research shows why we need to continue to work to build workplace cultures that are more effective and more inclusive for everyone.”

Roxanne Hobbs, founder at The Hobbs Consultancy, adds: “It’s integral that everyone is able to be their authentic selves at work. The fact that men now feel they can’t balance their careers with their families is worrying - the world is changed via conversation, and until the conversation about men and family happens, men will continue to be dragged down by a system that’s inclusive in name only.

“We want to create a culture in which being a male leader is synonymous with courageous vulnerability, caregiving, empathy and balanced mental health. We simply cannot talk about creating a difference with gender in the workplace without including men and making masculinity part of that discussion.”

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