International Men’s Day celebrates males from across the globe for their achievements and contributions to society, communities, and families. The day also highlights positive male role models and brings awareness to men’s wellbeing, by encouraging men to open up and communicate with others.
There’s a common misconception that “every day is International Men’s Day”, however, not all men are celebrated to the same degree. This day is a reminder that there are many different kinds of men in the world, and each and every one of them deserves a voice! WorkBuzz believe that International Men’s Day is a great opportunity to start new conversations with and about men, to advance inclusion for all.
The 6 pillars of International Men’s Day
- To promote positive male role models
- To celebrate men’s positive contributions
- To focus on men’s health and wellbeing
- To highlight discrimination against men
- To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
- To create a safer, better world
We asked some of our WorkBuzzers to tell us about a male figure that is inspirational to them and why:
“Mine would be Sean Swarner who, never gave up and proved anything is possible. Despite being the only person in the world to have suffered from both Hodgkin’s Disease and Askin’s sarcoma, Sean Swarner defied all the odds and miraculously survived. Not content with simply beating cancer, he thoroughly showed it who was boss by completing the Seven Peak Challenge, which involves climbing the highest mountain on every continent. He followed up that achievement by skiing to the North and South Poles – completing the Explorers Grand Slam, and threw in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii for good measure. Not bad for someone with one lung who at one point was given only two weeks to live.” – Lee
“The area where I went to school was not the best and all the kids were from very Northern working class families. Very few of the kids who went to the school went onto university. We had a PE teacher called Ged Hynes, who would probably be in his 80’s now, who wrote an individualised handwritten letter to around 10 of us when we left the school at 16. He talked about how the 10 of us had the potential to, in his words “drag ourselves out of our surroundings” and really go onto achieve things in life.
Most of the kids I knew in the school went onto a number of different manual work roles in the main and a small number sadly took a different path and ended up in prison, but that letter actually changed my life, in that it spurred me onto achieve whatever I wanted where I could easily have gone down another path. The letter was sent to my home address in 1982 and I still have it. I never saw Ged Hynes again, but he changed my life and put me on a different path than my life could have been.” – Ian
“Although I could name a few male figures who have inspired me, there is one in particular that stands out the most. His name is Chan Kong-Sang, or more famously recognised as Jackie Chan.
Growing up, I battled with a culture identity crisis. I was an Asian kid trying to grow up in a western society and where I lived wasn’t very culturally diverse. Things became a little tougher in my teenage years, where I became more aware and sensitive to things. I was never bullied thankfully, but I did start to hear racist remarks directed towards me.
This is where Jackie comes into the story. At a time when I was starting to question who I was, Jackie’s popularity rose in the west with his movie Rush Hour. I’ve always watched his movies growing up, but this was the first time I felt an Asian actor was being recognised in the western media limelight. It was nice to hear people talk about how cool he was and how amazing his fight scenes were. Of course, it didn’t help the stereotype that all Asians are good at Kung Fu, but finally an Asian role model that I could look up to. Seeing Jackie rise to the top and break Hollywood, and not using the race card to ever hold him back was an awakening.” – Joel
“My Grandad is one of the strongest men I know. Throughout his life he has had many different careers and faced many different challenges, all making him the man he is today. He lost his wife to cancer fairly young and continued to be strong for his family. Years later he lost one of his sons, and again, remained strong for our family, although I can’t begin to imagine the pain he must have been feeling. A few years later he was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer, and following surgery he ended up in a coma and then had to learn how to eat, speak, walk and talk again. He has shown so much strength and resilience throughout his life, and being the only grandparent I have ever known, I couldn’t ask for a better one.
My Dad is also a huge inspiration to me. He faced a tough upbringing – he was put into care when he was young and didn’t have a great sense of family. He worked any job he could get every day in his young life, from working in a fish and chip shop, to being a porter in a hotel, constantly trying to better himself and make a life for himself. Despite facing so many challenges early on in life, he never gave up. My dad now owns his own company, has been married to my mum for nearly 30 years, and has 5 loving children. Regardless of the lack of family my dad had when growing up, we have never felt more loved by him. My dad has always put his family first and made sure we had everything we could have ever wanted or needed growing up, and I am so proud that he is mine.” – Emily
“Mine would of course be my two sons, Steve and Luke. They are both passionate about what they do, work hard, lead by example, and inspire others to see the best in themselves. They have both done work in the community and encourage others to be who they are, and they always look on the bright side and see obstacles as a challenge to overcome and a learning curve.” – Carol
“Michael Jordan is who inspires me. I love his quote: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”” – Mike
There are many males among us who are inspirational in their own way. Be it someone we know personally, a public figure, or someone from the past. And International Men’s Day is so important to highlight this. Especially now where there is a surfacing need for younger males to be able to identify with positive role models that embrace qualities of kindness, generosity, open communication, and inner strength.
Find out more about International Men’s Day here.