Men as Allies

What is a male ally?

At IWL Foundation, we define a male ally as a man who advocates for women, even when women are not in the room.


We know that women are good for business, and the financial results prove it. We recognize that initiatives that aim to recruit, develop, and retain female talent have value for organizations today— yet, improvements can be made in reaping the benefits of these investments. One of those improvements is the role of male allies in these efforts.

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The numbers of women advancing in leadership roles aren’t changing. Men still dominate leadership roles, control decision-making, and significantly out-earn women. Why does this problem persist?


One reason is that too often a key part of the equation is missing – men. Too many gender initiatives focus on changing women – how to gain confidence, take a seat at the table, negotiate for themselves and be heard. But to achieve sustainable change and create a culture in which both women and men can excel, men must be a part of the conversation and stand as allies for women. 


In the past year, we have seen a wave of rising voices in our society through movements like "Me Too" and "Time's Up." We've heard many calls for change in the workplace regarding sexual harassment, equal pay, and other road blocks to gender equity. 


Building a culture of respect and equal opportunity is not a cause for women to champion alone.

Including men’s voices is crucial to accelerating change: We need male allies in our companies who are true advocates for women leaders. We need men who actively work to eliminate gender bias and recognize their own critical role in the equation, even when women aren't in the room. Fortunately, there are men like our panelists who are stepping up.

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One of IWL's main initiatives is to bring to light the need for women and men to work together as allies to minimize gender disparities. We know that asking the difficult questions will lead to understanding different perspectives and spark authentic conversation about how to make more meaningful progress toward being "better together" at work.

IWL Male Ally Advisory Group

IWL just launched a Male Ally Advisory Group, and we'd love to include you. If you are a man who is interested in being a part of a network of allies, sharing best practices, and helping shape programming at IWL, contact: to reach CEO, Kim Graham Lee.

Women: If you know a great male ally you would recommend for our advisory group, encourage them to reach out! 


Stay tuned for upcoming meetings.

We also offer workshops specifically designed for men!

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