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 recognizes the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and communities, highlighting positive role models and raising awareness of men’s well-being and giving support.
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 unprecedented 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.
“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.”- Paul Edwards, Learning and Development Solutions Manager
“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.”- Nicholas Stockley, Senior HR Business Partner
“I’ve learned more about myself as an individual and also more around my team now.”-Steve Hassard, Service Operations Manager
“The other thing that I really wanted to do right at the start was make sure I got this message across to the team to say ‘don’t do as I do, do as you need to do’”- Marc Garner, VP Secure Power
“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”-Liam Dear, Internal Sales Manager
Ultimately, we recognized 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 it’s 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 encourages 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.