Equality Is Good For Business and Business Is Good For Equality

Editor’s Note: The following essay on this pivotal moment in the fight to pass the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) is by Suzanne Lerner, co-founder and president of Michael Stars, and vice-chair of the Fund for Women’s Equality.

The Fund for Women’s Equality, of which Suzanne Lerner is vice-chair, is moving swiftly to ensure the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. In this essay, Lerner describes the strategy we must all support. (Image credit: Krista Niles of www.KristaJoyNiles.com)

Something extraordinary happened involving the ERA at the end of last week—day two of the new administration.

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) announced that the first bipartisan legislation they will introduce for the 117th Congress is their joint resolution to remove the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

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Where Are The Women? Free Summit Highlights Women Icons

UNLADYLIKE2020 presents Where Are The Women?, a summit for educators and parents about teaching a more inclusive narrative of U.S. history.

Where Are The Women?, hosted by UNLADYLIKE2020, will invite parents and educators to teach children the stories of women often glazed over by history books. (Image credit: UNLADYLIKE2020)
Where Are The Women?, hosted by UNLADYLIKE2020, will invite parents and educators to teach children the stories of women often glazed over by history books. (Image credit: UNLADYLIKE2020)

Did you know that out of 737 historical figures taught in K-12 curriculum standards in every state, only 178, or 24%, are women, including several fictional characters such as Rosie the Riveter? 98 of the women appear in only 1 state standard; only 15 are taught in more than 10 states. (Analysis by the National Women’s History Museum)

Conducting our research for Unladylike2020, we discovered the stories of hundreds (really thousands) of women who defied the odds to break barriers in every field long before women had the right to vote. So many courageous women helped shape policy and make U.S. history we wondered why their accomplishments are not taught in schools. As a result, we are convening a 2-hour Where Are the Women? Summit to invite teachers, the general public and parents, who are increasingly active in their children’s education through virtual and hybrid learning, to be part of a conversation about women’s role in history, and to have access to resources to reverse the underrepresentation of women in the history and social studies taught K-12. 

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Najada Kumbuli: Aligning Assets with Values at Visa Foundation

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Najada Kumbuli, the new Head of Investments for the Visa Foundation. 

Najada Kumbuli, courtesy of Najada Kumbuli

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession? 

I was fortunate to start my career in the field I was passionate about – impact investing. At the time, impact investing, or investing to generate a measurable, beneficial social and/or environmental impact alongside a financial return, was nascent, which provided both an opportunity to shape the trajectory of the industry and a challenge, as there were few companies leading the way, yet tremendous need to accelerate and scale their work. 

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Announcing New Grants from WomensNet

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, WomensNet has announced that it will be expanding its grantmaking to support more women-owned businesses in 2021.

WomensNet pledges to do more grantmaking in 2021 to support female entrepreneurs. (Image credit: WomensNet)
WomensNet pledges to do more grantmaking in 2021 to support female entrepreneurs. (Image credit: WomensNet)

(From WomensNet, January 21, 2021) Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken some time to reflect on the challenges women business owners faced in 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a tough time for small business owners generally.  And even tougher for women-owned start-ups across the country. We heard a lot of heart-breaking stories of businesses teetering because of Covid.

We’ve also felt the entrepreneurial spirit of women from every corner of America (as well as our Canadian neighbors). And so we’re starting 2021 with renewed hope and purpose in helping women like you. 

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Biden-Harris Comms Team: To End COVID, Tell Americans the Truth

On day two of taking over the White House, the communications team for the Biden-Harris team sat down with Errin Haines, editor-at-large of The 19th. Haines spoke with the four key women leaders who are now shaping the Biden/Harris message for public consumption. And what is the overarching goal of this new group of self-described “qualified, capable, barrier-breaking” women? To tell Americans the truth, with the underlying belief that if more American know the truth, “they can handle anything.”

Jen Psaki, Press Secretary for the Biden Harris Administration, discussing the work of shaping the administration’s message, what their early priorities are, and how having an all-woman comms team might change how the White House works. (Image Credit: The 19th)

Haines held an hour long rap session with White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and Chief Spokesperson for the Vice President, Symone Sanders. 

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New Gender Policy Council Created by Biden Administration

The Biden Administration has pledged to establish a Gender Policy Council that will be led by co-chairs Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso.

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris announce the establishment of a White House Gender Policy Council (Image credit: The Hill)
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris announce the establishment of a White House Gender Policy Council (Image credit: The Hill)

(White House Press Release) On January 19th, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced the formation of the White House Gender Policy Council, co-chaired by Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso. President-elect Biden pledged to create a White House Council on Gender Equality, to guide and coordinate government policy that impacts women and girls, across a wide range of issues such as economic security, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy, working in cooperation with the other White House policy councils. 

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Founding Mothers Reflect: America Now Free to Be You and Me Again

It’s a herstoric moment. It’s a historic day. It’s the end of the reign of terror that lasted four years under President Donald Trump. It’s the day that a woman of color ascends to one of the highest roles of leadership for our country.

Ms. Foundation Founding Mothers, from left to right: Gloria Steinem, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Marlo Thomas, Patricia Carbine. (Image credit: Ms. Foundation for Women)

Many women leaders have been inspired to speak today, to tell of how they are experiencing this massive shift in representation for our leadership, which we believe will lead us to becoming a better country. Here are some great responses and reflections from the Founding Mothers of the Ms. Foundation, all incredibly strong and enduring women leaders who capture the monumental nature of this event with their words. They are introduced by Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.

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Rena Greifinger On High Risk/High Return Grantmaking for Women

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Rena Greifinger, Managing Director of Maverick Collective, a network of strategic philanthropists cofounded by Melinda Gates that is dedicated to elevating the status of women and girls everywhere through access to healthcare.

Rena Greifinger is the Managing Director of Maverick Collective, a network of strategic philanthropists dedicated to elevating the status of women and girls. (Image Credit: Maverick Collective)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I’ve been working with and for nonprofits my entire career (15 years), yet only started working directly with philanthropists, and on the subject of philanthropy, in 2017. It has been one of the steepest and most joyful learning curves.

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Announcing the Newest Partnership for Nike: Black Girl Ventures

Nike, Inc. has announced that it will begin a partnership with Black Girl Ventures to support the economic empowerment of women of color.

Black Girl Ventures has become the newest partner of the Nike, Inc. Black Community Commitment. (Image credit: Nike, Inc.)

Expanding the NIKE, Inc. Black Community Commitment to support organizations focused on social justice, education and economic opportunity for Black Americans, Nike announces a new partner focused on economic empowerment, Black Girl Ventures. The $500,000 investment from NIKE, Inc. will support Black Girl Ventures in its efforts to provide Black and Brown women-identifying founders with access to community, capital and capacity-building to support entrepreneurship. This contribution builds on the commitments to Black Girls CODE, NAACP Empowerment Programs and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) announced in July 2020.

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Talking Women in Higher Ed and Tech with Loni Bordoloi Pazich

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Loni Bordoloi Pazich, Program Director at The Teagle Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Loni Bordoloi Pazich.

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession? 

I have my dream job now working in philanthropy but I didn’t even know the sector I work in existed until well after college. The world of foundations was completely invisible to me until I happened to work as a research assistant at the USC Center for Urban Education, where virtually all the work we carried out was funded through grants. I realized that foundations play an important role in shaping research and policy agendas. 

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