The world has come a long way in gender equality over the past one hundred years, but there is still room for improvement. In every journey toward equality, it’s important to have allies to help support and promote unheard voices, which benefits everyone involved.

In the fifth post in this women in tech series, we asked four male allies at SAS how they lead by example when it comes to gender equality. Read on to see how men are actively supporting and promoting women within the workforce.

Franklin Manchester, Principal Product Marketing Manager

Franklin Manchester leads the market strategy and engagement for insurance and is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter with bachelor’s degrees in finance & banking, risk & insurance and French from Appalachian State University. He serves on the board of directors for the Women’s Center of Raleigh and the board of trustees for Soapstone United Methodist Church. In his day-to-day life, Manchester enjoys going to the movies and even displays (almost) every one of his movie ticket stubs since 1994 in his office at SAS.

How do you lead by example?

Manchester: The adage of “be the change you want to see in the world” comes to mind. Unfortunately, preference is often given to men, regardless of talent, education or experience. From experience as a leader, you set the tone for how women on your team are supported and empowered. While I do not lead people today, I endeavor to set that same tone with my behavior.

If a good idea about approaching a problem is proposed by a woman, I will show support and be vocal about it. If support is not given by other team members, it is important to speak up and say, “we should listen to this person.” It takes conscious effort to make space in the conversation and keep others from dismissing the input. I would also recommend that allies make a concerted effort to “step aside” or “yield your time” when the conversation may be dominated by men.

“We have not heard from ____, so let’s give her a moment to share her thoughts and perspectives.” We are a rich tapestry when we work together, and frankly, we are so much less if we do not support women’s contributions to our collective endeavors.


Roderick Crawford, Senior Regional Vice President

Roderick Crawford has spent 30 years in the global IT industry, working with the likes of HP, IBM and SAS. He has been a manager for more than 20 years and assumed executive leadership roles since 2010. He has experience working across all key industry sectors, including finance, government, telecommunications and health and life sciences.

Crawford is married to Stephanie and has two children (Charles and Liberty) and four dogs (Moose, Lulu, Fifi and Beenz). His passions include travel, classical literature and music, gardening and horticulture, supporting the Exeter Chiefs rugby club, and drinking wine with his wife after a long day in the garden.

How do you lead by example?

Crawford: I lead by example by setting goals for my leadership team to secure gender equality. We make sure to constantly monitor our progress toward it. Our monitoring includes looking at where equality does not currently exist and setting policies to help balance out the scales. This inovolves my leadership team actively looking to identify qualified women candidates and working to promote and invest time in women for open positions.


Colin Gray, Principal Systems Engineer

Colin Gray earned a degree in mathematical sciences, holds a Certificate of Actuarial Techniques and is a Chartered Statistician. Since joining SAS, he has concentrated on the detection and prevention of fraud using analytics across multiple industries. A few use cases include detecting insider trading at a financial regulator, preventing credit and debit card fraud for a high street bank, and combating various forms of fraud across governmental departments. He has also worked with the police to identify serial sex offenders through statistical and geographical profiling techniques. During the recent pandemic, Gray played a lead role in the UK government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, helping to deliver payments to millions of furloughed employees within a matter of weeks.


In his free time, Gray enjoys traveling and has been to every continent except Antarctica. He is an accomplished pianist and flutist, particularly enjoying the Baroque composers.

How do you lead by example?

Gray: I think that leading by example comes in many forms - the first part is being prepared to do the same work as everyone else — whether that's doing boring data-entry work for a project or getting your hands mucky working on a farm. Don't keep the best jobs for yourself or your favorites. The other part is that not everyone is born a leader, but each person will have their own talents; a good leader lets each person shine and supports their development.


Michael McCahill, Product Manager

Michael McCahill is a driven, personable and dynamic person who thrives on new challenges. His career in law enforcement has given him the opportunity to work across a range of policing positions, including more than five years in public protection. He managed the risk posed by violent and sexual offenders to protect the most vulnerable.

Before leaving the police, McCahill built the Digital and Data Skills Academy (DDSA), a globally unique training center to upskill investigators in cybercrime, cybersecurity and networking tech. As the lead of DDSA and a qualified Cisco instructor, he taught hands-on, innovative courses to specialist officers from across the UK.

McCahill stays busy as a father of two boys, ages 11 and 13. He enjoys coaching their soccer teams, playing guitar and going to concerts.

How do you lead by example?

McCahill: I constantly strive to engage in teamwork, enthusiastically and collaboratively. I actively seek new ideas, ensuring everyone is heard in the process. By engaging in conversation and listening closely to colleagues, we can be sure to capture diverse perspectives and incorporate an ethical approach to building technology. I enjoy helping teammates and creating a culture that has equity embedded into the dynamics, converting ideas and hard work into personal and professional achievements. To do this, I am inclusive, speak positively, stay flexible, take action - and most importantly - stay transparent in my decision making and progress.

If you’re interested in reading more stories about women in tech and seeing a variety of questions answered, continue reading the SAS Women series.

Read More



About Author

Olivia Ojeda

Olivia Ojeda is an Associate Communications Specialist on the Thought Leadership, Editorial and Content team at SAS. In 2023, she graduated with a degree in Business Administration/Marketing from North Carolina State University. Day-to-day she helps write and edit collateral and enjoys creating colorful and creative blog posts.

Leave A Reply

Back to Top