Vantage Group


Statement from Stefanie Mockler on the Cancellation of SXSW 2020

Leading up to Friday’s decision from the City of Austin to cancel this year’s SXSW festival, I was excited to present on the topic of how men can lean in as allies to help women rise. While I am saddened I will not be able to network and share ideas with fellow conference-goers, I applaud officials’ decision to put public safety above all else.

On a personal note, I also have a sense of relief, both for myself and others who have been or could be impacted by COVID-19. For the last two weeks, I have grappled with whether or not attend and present. While I may have been just fine, this large event could have put unprecedented pressure on Austin’s healthcare system as well as contributed to further spread of COVID-19 as conference-goers left Austin to return to homes and workplaces all over the world. This would have been particularly dangerous for the immunocompromised or those with pre-existing conditions (including my brother, and other family and friends).

As tough as it is, I believe the city made the right choice.

Regardless of SXSW 2020 being cancelled, I will still find ways to speak and share my insights and learnings on how men can lean in as allies.

Thank you to everyone for their support through this process – from the moment I was accepted to speak through my preparation, I’ve felt the love.


About Stefanie Mockler, Ph.D.

Stefanie is a leadership consultant, executive coach, and practice lead for Leadership Development Solutions at Vantage. An advocate for bridging the gender divide in leadership roles, she also shares research and insights through The Female Leader’s Edge. She obtained her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at DePaul University.

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