Sheryl Axelrod Moderated The Forum of Executive Women’s Male Champions for Women Presentation

Sheryl Axelrod had the pleasure of moderating The Forum of Executive Women‘s Male Champions for Women presentation on October 20, 2022.  

Last year, the Forum launched the Male Champions for Women program, which explored how men can support women obtaining and serving in leadership positions. Sheryl conceived of the Male Champions for Women concept as an extension of her work serving on #GOODGuys programs, and co-designed the program with Forum members Lindsay Johnston (who moderated last year’s panel), Melissa Ludwig (who introduced the program), Deana C.Jeanine Conley Daves, and Dara J. Klein.

Following the success of that event, this program, designed by LindsayMelissa, and Sheryl, highlighted male leaders who champion women’s allyship through their companies’ Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Business Resource Groups (BRGs), and/or as women’s sponsors. A premier panel of Male Champions for Women discussed how they are doing just that: Damien Atkins, Chief Legal Officer General Counsel of AuraWilliam Mahoney, Executive Vice President Chief Commercial Officer of NFI, and William “Bill” Marx, Partner Tax Reporting & Advisory of Grant Thornton LLP (US).

During the incredible discussion Sheryl moderated, the Male Champions for Women offered a panoply of concrete tools everyone can use to expand gender equity. The men showed that their intentionality (the key word in the discussion), and that of their companies — the choices they intentionally make — are core to their allyship and sponsorship. They talked about the “shadow of a leader,” being someone who embodies a companies’ stated values, and how that person sets the tone over those they lead. Sheryl explained that by leading by example, that person can inspire others to do the same.

Through it all, the men underscored the stunning business case for gender equity to:   

  • gain a greater perspective at the top
  • better ensure that the most talented stay (increase retention), and rise to the top, 
  • get the best ideas,
  • enhance recruiting,
  • gain the customer differential, and
  • wind up with the best product and/or service!