What does being a man mean?
Sunday 05 September 1999
But following the success of workshops designed specifically to help women in business, the Springboard Consultancy has come up with an alternative - for men. Midland Bank, Mazda Cars and Hampshire County Council are among the organisations that have been involved in the Navigator Men's Development Programme.
So why now? Said the Springboard Consultancy's chief executive, Jenny Daisley: "Women acknowledged that they needed the right skills and confidence to compete with men in the workplace a long time ago, and men are finally reaching a similar conclusion - not that they need to compete against other men but that they need to be able to cope in a similarly unstable environment."
After all, she explains, men have been traditionally reared to believe they would have jobs for life. "But now things are changing all around us and people need to be more flexible, be more balanced, take the initiative and be good at team working. These are skills many women have learned by necessity but that many men have not. That's what we're trying to amend."
Dianah Worman, equality adviser at the Institute of Personnel and Development, adds that men in the workplace are increasingly expected to use soft or "feminine" skills such as dealing with people, being empathetic, being organised, multi-skilling and using the right body language. Yet they are often given no guidance - another factor that the Navigator programme attempts to correct. Worman also claims the course assists in teaching today's men "that it's OK - even preferable - to balance work and family life in the way that many women do because it makes employees both more productive and content in the long-run."
This is one of the reasons why Navigator - which is run in four full- day sessions spread over three months - encourages participants to consider what it means to be a man both at home and at work.
James Traeger, co-developer and author of the programme, claims that even the issues incorporated on the course that are not gender specific - such as taking risks and creating networks - are best addressed in single sex groups. "Over 90 per cent of the course participants claim that it worked for them because there were no women present."
David Elphick, a 29-year-old engineer at Mazda who recently completed the course, agrees. "Men don't tend to talk about feelings at work but during this course, we all really opened up about what we wanted to develop,change or aim for."
For some participants, the increasing number of women in the workplace is something they find they have strong feelings about. Coupled with the fact that a large number of companies are currently downsizing, it can be easy for men to blame the ensuing insecurities on these women. The course attempts to put such scape-goating into perspective.
But Dr John Kramer, reader in psychology at Queen's University in Belfast, says it could have a converse effect. "By excluding women from these courses, the problems could in fact be exacerbated."
Another potential difficulty for the success of the course is, he says, that it is probably the men who are more open who will be most likely to sign up whereas "in reality, it's the macho types who need the course most of all".
The Springboard Consultancy can be contacted on 01453 878540
WOMEN OF THE WORLD, PAGE 2
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...