Work & Class
That we need to work with men and boys has become a key mantra of health programmes globally, particularly those concerned with HIV, violence and more recently sexual and reproductive health and rights, and yet there is very little known about how effective these programmes are, nor of the challenges, opportunities and politics of this work. A special issue of Culture, Health and Sexuality draws together a number of globally recognised authors to reflect on the field, as well as provide provocative insights into the politics and processes of working with men and boys.
Challenging Patriarchy presents contributions to the evolution of thinking on men and masculinities in Gender and Development, drawing on three IDS Bulletins published over a period of more than a decade: Men, Masculinities and Development (2000), edited by Andrea Cornwall and Sarah White, Sexuality Matters (2006), edited by Andrea Cornwall and Susie Jolly, and
How can men help to build gender equality at work? How can workplaces and organisations engage men in progress towards gender justice? In this XY collection, we bring together key reports, manuals, and other items of interest.
Also see the recent report, Men Make a Difference: Engaging Men on Gender Equality, commissioned by the Diversity Council Australia and written by Dr Michael Flood and Dr Graeme Russell.
The social position of working-class men across the Western world has been transformed in recent decades. In material terms, the replacement of industrial sector jobs by unemployment and hyphenated forms of service work has all but removed old pathways into a respectable working-class masculinity for young men, while even those retaining a position in skilled manual labour find themselves worse off than their fathers had been relative to the rest of the workforce.
Research shows that women, especially those with caring responsibilities, are more likely than men to both request and access flexible work. As a result, it is often assumed that flexible work is more relevant to women. Organisational practices are often developed with this perspective in mind. However, workforce demographics and family models have changed (e.g. 63% of fathers with resident dependent children now have a partner in the paid workforce) and this has led to increased work/family conflict for men. This new Australian report notes that many men do not conform to the ideal ‘full-time’ worker model and instead have a range of priorities and aspirations, e.g. to be active and engaged fathers. Research also shows that workplace flexibility is a key driver of employment decisions and job performance for both women and men, including young men, male managers, men approaching retirement and especially younger fathers. Given the above, having greater access to flexible work will enable men to increase their engagement in caregiving and household work, which in turn will help to facilitate gender equality at work. When couples share caring and domestic tasks more equitably, women who have traditionally undertaken the majority of these responsibilities are better positioned to access quality employment opportunities. Yet it is a rare organisation indeed that has focussed on gender equality in caring or on the critical role that men accessing flexible work might play in this.
On 22 June 2013, the Attorney-General’s Department asked the Australian Human Rights Commission to conduct a national review on the prevalence, nature and consequences of discrimination in relation to pregnancy at work and return to work after parental leave.
Men—and white men in particular—have a critical role to play in creating inclusive workplaces. But how can companies support this group as they step up to the challenge of creating inclusive leadership? This third report in Catalyst's Engaging Men in Gender Initiatives series takes an in-depth look at the approach one company, Rockwell Automation, pursued.
Australian men want and need access to flexible working to support their important roles as fathers, carers and engaged volunteers in their communities, but their uptake of flexible working is limited and most commonly involves informal ‘flextime’ and ad hoc working from home structured around full-time work, according to research conducted by Diversity Council Australia on men and flexible working.