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Stellar Partnerships

Stellar Partnerships: Corporate & Community Partnership

A new perspective on IWD

Every year around International Women’s Day I hear the same question: what about the men? Why isn’t there an international day for men? Spoiler alert, it’s on 19th November. Maybe the reason there’s such a low profile is that every day is men’s day. Plus, they’re probably relying on the women to organise it.

It got me thinking about IWD and what it would look like if men were the ones fighting for equality. Here’s a light-hearted look at life in a parallel universe.

Dear Kevin,

Thanks so much for speaking at our International Men’s Day breakfast. Sorry we couldn’t pay you, but Marilyn, our CEO, said there wasn’t enough budget and anyway, it’ll give you some great profile and awareness. It was great to see the room so full, even if the blue tablecloths and footy theme giveaways were a bit corny.

Apologies for being a bit late at the start. My boss sent me home to get a collared shirt and tie. Apparently my polo shirt was showing too much chest hair and she said it wasn’t a professional look;  too distracting to the female leaders in the room.  It’s hard to be taken seriously sometimes, but I didn’t want to let the rest of the boys down.

I’m really hopeful for change this year. I even got the HR manager to take down that Chris Hemsworth pin-up calendar in the lunch room. Such an unrealistic picture of men- who has abs like that in real life?! It was really awkward seeing the women ogling Chris and then making sly comments to the rest of us.

I got to the last two candidates for the promotion interviews! I eventually lost out to Jasmine, who they said had a more natural leadership presence, but it was great to be in contention. My manager, Sharon, has even offered to send me on an assertiveness course, as she said I need to be more forceful about asking for promotions and pay rises. I guess I’ll just work a bit harder and finish that PhD and I’ll be in the running next time. 

Let’s catch up for lunch soon. I’ve found a new place, away from that building site where the women harass us every day. It’s 2023 and I still get catcalls like “show us your pecs” or “is that a Mars bar in your pocket or are you pleased to see me?”. At least there’s no such behaviour in the office- even if I do have to get the coffee a bit more often than the women. Checkout my new fave podcast “Invisible Men”- there are some great guys sharing their experiences in the workplace. Maybe I just need to lean in a bit more to make it to the leadership table.

Got to run, as it’s school pick -up time. I’m grateful that Sharon lets me work school hours, even if I do miss out on some of the team meetings (and the money!). I’d better finish off her presentation tonight when the kids are in bed, as she’s off to the leadership retreat tomorrow. Why do they always organise them at a wellness spa with a gin distillery nearby- LOL?!

Anyway, happy international men’s day- only 26 more years until pay parity!