Mary Portas, author of Work Like a Woman and founder of the Portas Agency, is leading the line-up at this year’s Masculinity in the Workplace conference.
The conference takes place on International Men’s Day, 19 November, in the London headquarters of Havas KX. It will also feature Han-Son Lee (founder of Daddilife); Marvyn Harrison (founder of Dope Black Dads); and Coca-Cola European Partners’ Richard Schmidt.
It will offer attendees the opportunity to debate and discuss new, modern constructs around masculinity. By challenging constructs of masculinity that currently exist in some workplaces, the event will open up fresh conversation to provide inspiration for change.
Attendees will learn more about the opportunities for male leaders to embrace change, how to expand their capacity for vulnerability, and will take part an open conversation around mental health issues.
The event will be powered by culture change business Utopia and The Hobbs Consultancy, in collaboration with HeANDShe and Token Man. The line-up also features CDM Group’s Phil Bartlett and accessibility rights activist Will Pike.
Daniele Fiandaca, co-founder at Utopia and Token Man, said: “Recent focus has been on the changes that women need to make to fit into a masculine workplace, when we should be focusing on creating more inclusive workplaces which work for all genders. This event will re-examine the damaging traditional masculine traits that are hindering modern businesses, and explore ways we can build workplace cultures that are more effective and more inclusive for everyone.
“This event is for anyone who is passionate about driving gender equality in the workplace and we welcome everyone however they identify or express themselves. In particular we would love to see a broad representation of CEOs, CMOs, HR Directors and inclusion & diversity practitioners.”
Roxanne Hobbs, founder of HeANDShe and The Hobbs Consultancy, added: “The vision for the event is to re-examine the idea of the hero. We found that many leaders who had really questioned their bias, impact and stereotypes were those for whom something hard had happened. An inciting incident had led to a paradigm shift and a subsequent behavioural change.
“What can we learn from these people? We want to create a culture in which being a male leader is synonymous with courageous vulnerability, caregiving, empathy and balanced mental health. We simply cannot talk about creating a difference with gender in the workplace without including men in the conversation and without making masculinity part of that discussion.”