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Sunday, July 14, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

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New awards to encourage male leadership

“The return from investing time and money into boys and men is exceptionally high. Healthier, happier and higher-performing men are better for women, children and for society.”

“Many men are not achieving their leadership potential in our journeys through work, business and the public sector,” says company director DAVID MAYWALD. He’s come up with an idea to help them.  

CANBERRA company director David Maywald has launched a new initiative to celebrate healthy masculinity and highlight masculine traits that are pro-social. 

Applications for the two, annual, $10,000 Awards for Under-Represented Men in Leadership are now open to Canberra men from a wide range of groups: indigenous, cultural/ethnic backgrounds, young men aspiring to senior leadership, economic/educational/social disadvantage, disabled and others.

He believes the award will be “life-changing” for both winners: a $10,000 scholarship to undertake further studies or professional development in the areas of leadership and governance; a structured mentorship program for almost a year; along with networking opportunities and introductions that are tailored to each specific winner. 

“The scholarship alone is enough to fund the Company Director’s Course plus AICD membership, or the Cranlana Colloquium, or an executive education program with a leading university,” he says.

“Each year, two award winners will be announced annually on International Men’s Day, November 19. 

“The purpose of these new awards is to inspire and encourage men, as well as to provide practical support for future leaders. 

“When boys and men strive towards being better, the results are positive for our entire society.”

Mr Maywald is a full-time company director serving on five boards, including registered charities and a public company in the ACT. 

He says his two-decade professional career as an investment manager had a focus on research and analysis, product development, marketing, leadership and governance. He has taken a keen interest in the life outcomes of boys and men.

“Boys and men are performing poorly in key areas of education, health, and wellbeing,” he says.

“The return from investing time and money into boys and men is exceptionally high. Healthier, happier and higher-performing men are better for women, children and for society.

“It’s often said these days that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and there are many men who don’t see themselves represented in the current leadership of our public sector, companies, non-profits, or educational institutions.” 

Recently released statistics show:

  • Women make up 53 per cent of Senior Executive Service positions, and 55 per cent of Executive Level roles. 
  • Boys have 9 per cent lower high school completion rates, compared to girls in Australia. 
  • There are 53 per cent more female university graduates than male, with more than three women graduating for every two men. 
  • Men and boys also make up 75 per cent of “deaths of despair” (suicide, drug overdose, and alcohol poisoning), with six or seven male suicides on a normal day.

“The ACT is further down the gender equality path than almost any other part of Australia,” he says. 

“We have a series of trail-blazing initiatives in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space already. Canberrans feel rightly proud about being egalitarian, and having a high level of equality. 

“Continuing to support girls and women, while also encouraging under-represented men to make a greater contribution is entirely consistent with this ethos. The approach here is ‘yes, and’ rather than ‘one or the other’.”

Applications are currently open for men who live and work in Canberra, and must be sent to by October 19. 

Applicants must be available to interview in-person, must attend the announcement ceremony on November 19 in Canberra, and are required to participate in the networking/introductions in-person. 

The first four pages of each cover letter, and the first three pages of each résumé, will be used to shortlist candidates.

The key selection criteria include: being a positive male role model; the demonstration of agency in your life; making a significant contribution to our community; and having high leadership potential for driving positive change.

Mr Maywald says that these awards will increase equality of opportunity, by assisting men who are currently under-represented in executive leadership and governance roles.

“Many men are not achieving their leadership potential in our journeys through work, business and the public sector. These awards provide tangible support plus inspiration for the male leaders of our future,” he says. 

To apply for the awards send a cover letter addressing the key selection criteria and your résumé to by October 19. 


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