22 November 2022

Men's wellbeing in the workplace - Darren McMillan

At Carbon, we believe that it is important for all our employees to be heard, supported, and have a voice. As an employer, it is important to us that we understand and are equipped to deal with the issues that individuals and groups face in today’s society, giving confidence to our team that we are there for them, as they are for our clients.

Earlier this year, we ran a campaign for International Women’s Day featuring our female employees at all levels of the business. In the spirit of equality and encouraging all employees to speak out about challenges and barriers they are looking to overcome, we have spoken to some male colleagues within the business to get their perspective.

Tell me about your role with Carbon and what is involved day to day?

I’m a paraplanner based in the Edinburgh office which means that I assist the planners by preparing annual reports and recommendations and conduct research on behalf of our clients in order for them to get the best service and recommendations possible.

What has been your career experience to date?

I started working in financial services industry straight after high school via a modern apprenticeship scheme where I gained experience in administration. I’ve since gained experience in other areas of the business and worked my way up to the role I’m in now.

What are the key issues facing men at the moment and why do you think it is important that they are highlighted?

Mental health is a huge one at the moment but I’m glad to see that this is being highlighted more and more, however I still believe we have a long way to go as other people may still find it challenging to open up to friends and family about what’s on their mind.

As an employer, what support do Carbon give their employees who are potentially facing challenges?

I think Carbon are great as they don’t just pay lip service to wellbeing and health, they actually follow through with actions when required. We have a scheme where employees can access counselling sessions which are funded by the business. It’s also kept anonymous, so your colleagues don’t need to know about who has accessed the service and why.

What else could be changed in society to better support men to speak out about any issues and difficulties they are facing?

I think more businesses should take heed of the mental wellbeing of male employees as traditionally, men don’t tend to open up and they just get their head down and get on with it. There are industries where this is probably still expected but I think that needs to change.

What men have had a positive influence on you, both in your career and personal life?

I’m close to some of my Carbon colleagues and they have been great at picking me up when I’m not feeling myself and they have done so without judgement which has been a nice experience.

What do you do to stay mentally healthy?

I like to keep busy, if I’m sitting with not much to do it will cause me to overthink when it’s not necessarily warranted. I keep busy by going to the gym, playing golf etc, I like how if I have those plans in the morning or the evening it adds a bit of structure to my day.

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