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To mark International Men’s Day Schneider Electric brought men and dads together to talk about their experiences and how best to support each other
Siobhan Kelly-Bush writes about the steps Schneider Electric have taken to mark International Men’s Day and support men and fathers in the company
At Schneider Electric, we globally recognize International Men’s Day. Celebrated every year on November 19th, in more than 70 countries worldwide, International Men’s Day recognises the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities, highlighting positive role models and raising awareness of men’s well-being.
To mark the occasion in the UK and Ireland, we got several of our male colleagues together to discuss their role in building an inclusive company and what support Schneider has offered to them to achieve work-life balance during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the main theme, “I am Me, I am Unique, I am Schneider”, we spoke about the importance of supporting men’s wellbeing during these unprecedent times, the support from Schneider and for each other as well as how new ways of working are helping us to manage our unique life and work.
Paul Edwards, Learning and Development Solutions Manager said, “Having the flexibility to work differently through Schneider was helped inordinately. You know you can share your different thoughts and feelings with somebody who understands, and that was the key thing for me.”
“I’m very lucky to be part of a close team and I think as a team we’re all great at being open with each other” explained Nicholas Stockley, Senior HR Business Partner. Steve Hassard, Service Operations Manager, added “I’ve learned more about myself as an individual and also more around my team now.”
Marc Garner, VP Secure Power, explained his approach. “At the start I really wanted to make sure I got this message across to the team to say don’t do as I do, do as you need to do”
The extent to which things have changed in 2020 was reflected in the comments from Liam Dear, Internal Sales Manager, “I certainly would have been mortified if my 3-year-old was screaming at me to look at the latest picture she had just drawn at nursery while I was on a call, whereas now, you know, it’s OK”
Ultimately, we recognised the need to encourage men to reach out for support when they need it.
Despite some men saying they find it hard to talk to someone about how they’re feeling when they’re struggling, during the first three months of lockdown, 3 in 10 contacts to Samaritans were from men sharing concerns about loneliness or isolation. This highlights the importance of seeking help and getting support when needed.
It takes a lot to open-up about how you’re feeling – we know that. But, once you do, you open yourself up to a world of support and it encourage others to do the same, too.
Reach out to your friends, brothers, fathers, sons – anyone who needs a little encouragement to open-up. There is no shame in struggling with your mental health but, particularly in a year like this, there’s never been a better time to speak up and seek support.