The following is a response to an open letter sent to the University regarding an article published advising of our intention to mark International Men's Day (19 November).
We are sorry that this has caused unhappiness for some members of the University community who felt that the statement was inappropriate and should never have been issued. The intention was to draw attention to some of the issues men tell us they encounter and to follow this up by highlighting in particular the availability of mental health and welfare support which we know men are sometimes reluctant to access.
The Equality and Diversity Committee is clear that the main focus of gender equality work should continue to be on the inequalities faced by women, and in particular the under-representation of women in the professoriate and senior management. We believe that we can make meaningful progress in addressing these issues, while at the same time addressing other aspects of the equality and diversity agenda. To this end, we are putting in place new structures to extend and strengthen our approach to the Athena Swan awards, which provide a framework for our work on gender equality.
In the meantime, the statement marking this year’s International Men’s Day has been withdrawn and we can confirm that we will no longer be marking International Men’s Day 2015.