Friday 19 November 2021 is International Men’s Day and this year marks a significant shift in the number of key national organisations backing the day.
Organisations like the the ABC, ANZ, Bunnings, Coles and Optus are marking the day alongside a wide range of grassroots organisations who continue to host events at a local level.
International Men’s Day has been observed in Australia since 2003 and has traditionally been celebrated by groups set up to support men like dads’ groups and local men’s sheds.
More recently, employers around Australia have begun to support the day, seeing it as an opportunity to engage their male staff in conversations about health and wellbeing.
Most activities to mark International Men’s Day will focus on one or more of the day's six key objectives:
- Valuing male role models
- Acknowledging the contribution of men and boys
- Improving male health
- Tackling discrimination and disadvantage
- Fostering positive gender relations
- Making the world a safer place for everyone
ANZ, for example, is working to foster positive gender relations with an in-house panel discussion on the theme of “better relations between all genders” hosted by CEO Shayne Elliot.
The Diversity Council Australia is highlighting the discrimination that men can face in the workplace by promoting its resources to men on working flexible hours.
Meanwhile the ABC is celebrating some male role models in its collection of TV programs created to mark International Men’s Day on ABC iview.
Most commonly, many organisations will focus on improving male health as one of this year’s International Men’s Day themes is “talking about men’s health”.
The Australian Men’s Health Forum has produced a new Know Your Man Facts toolkit of resources on men’s mental health including a workplace talk that has been requested by dozens of employers.
Organisations planning to hold International Men’s Day talks on men’s mental health include Bunnings; Optus Qld; BHP; Bristol Myers Squibb; Airbus Australia Pacific ; Murray–Darling Basin Authority; McCains Foods; Veolia Australia; HLB advisory and accounting; Novotech, Qld; Bunnings, Qld; Coles; CAPS Australia; Grant Thornton, Adelaide; NSW Police Force; Department of Defence; Department of Home Affairs and Newcrest Mining.
For more information about International Men's Day 2021 see: www.internationalmensday.info