Learn about our newest staff network, the Men's Employee Network

What is the Men’s Employee Network? – Learn about the purpose and mission of our newest staff network

Wednesday, 8 May was the National Day for Staff Networks. As part of the celebration, we got in touch with the leaders of the council’s newest staff network, the Men’s Employee Network.

Giving us an insight into the purpose and plans of the project, we spoke with network co-leader Sean, who was able to grant us a unique look into our newest network:

So, what is the men’s network all about?

“Launched in 2024 the Men’s Employee Network (M.E.N) is a safe space for men, and those who identify as men, to come together and connect, share experiences, socialise, promote equality, and challenge stereotypes.

The M.E.N exists to provide a sense of belonging amongst male colleagues. The network aims to actively bring male colleagues together whether they wish to organise a social event to combat isolation, arrange a sporting event to improve their fitness, or have a chat about their Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Ultimately the network is helping to ensure all men can thrive at Essex County Council (ECC).”

How did the idea for a men’s network arise?

“Several colleagues raised a desire for a space where male colleagues can share and discuss issues that are affecting or organise social and sports events.

Supported by the Employee Experience and Equality Diversity & Inclusion teams, a group of like-minded men got together and proudly launched ECC’s eleventh employee network in April 2024.

All employee networks, including the M.E.N, are a testament to ECC’s commitment of creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all employees.”

What can we expect to see from the men’s network in the future?

“The M.E.N are always keen for colleagues to help shape the future direction of the Network; the feedback we have received so far means we will be running activities such as Walk & Talks, Online Quizzes, a virtual Mental Health Café, a few sporting events, and of course some social meet ups!

M.E.N is also creating a directory to signpost colleague (or those they know) to organisations that specifically help men or have men’s group to assist with a whole host of issues, from Domestic Violence to Over 50’s Health Classes, and from groups that tackle isolation & upskill such as Men’s Sheds to groups supporting with Testicular Cancer.

We expect the M.E.N to continue to grow and play an active part in being part of organisational innovation so we can all thrive together.”

Interested in our employee engagement initiatives? Visit the ‘Employee Recognition & Engagement’ page.