How Women Lose Ground Right From the Start in Business

As if you didn’t know, women face a steeper climb when seeking initial funding for business ventures. Cindy Gallop is doing a fantastic job in tracking this. In a series of Tweets, she linked to a number of articles on the subject.

Sabina Matos, candidate for Congress from Rhode Island, will be supported with a large advertising buy from Emily’s List and Elect Democratic Women. (Image credit: Sabina Matos for Congress)

The top link below discusses the types of questions potential investors ask founders. It turns out that, to no one’s surprise, women are asked different questions than men. The questions for women generally focus on potential losses, whereas men were asked about the potential for gain. The takeaway here is that, right from the get-go, men are seen as more likely to succeed, so they are asked about aspirations, hopes, and ideals. On the other hand, women are quizzed about strategies for minimizing losses.

As sort of a corollary to this, it seems there is a trend towards A-List celebrities starting their own ad agencies. The goal is to have themselves selected–and paid–as the spokesperson for the company that hires them. According to indy Gallop, advertising is a “male-dominated, sexist, misogynist industry”. In keeping with this tradition, there are many more advertising companies headed by men than women, and this leads to men in the business reaching out to male celebrities as potential partners in a new firm. In turn, this squeezes out women, so even female A-List celebrities find it difficult to enter the field. The rich get richer.


One: Sabina Matos, Candidate for US Representative, Gets Gender Lens PAC Support   

Though not philanthropy, an important instance of political gender lens giving occurred recently, and will potentially help Sabina Matos prevail in her bid for a seat in the US Congress. Matos is the beneficiary of an ad buy worth $400,000 to help in her quest for the open US Congressional seat to be vacated by David Cicilline. She is currently the Lt Governor of Rhode Island, and has been the front-runner for the Democratic nomination throughout most of the campaign. Being RI, the Democratic Primary on September 5 will probably determine the person selected to fill the seat in November. 

Two national groups, Emily’s List and Elect Democratic Women have combined to purchase television ads for Matos. The groups have begun airing commercials entitled either “Fighter” or “Relentless,” depending on which is paying for the airtime. Both position Matos as a champion of abortion rights, an especially potent issue in Democratic politics since last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

If elected, Sabina Matos would be the first Afro-Latina woman in the US Congress. This status as a Woman of Color has made Matos a target of the traditional power brokers composed of White men. There were minor irregularities in the signatures collected to put her name on the ballot. A vendor submitted the signatures of dead people, but the number of problem signatures in no way impacted her status on the ballot. However, her opponents have jumped on the irregularity in an effort to blow it up into a scandal that could derail her campaign. The ads will help counteract the negative publicity and boost her chances of election.

Two: Let Your Imagination Soar

Dolly Parton is an icon in so many ways and for so many reasons. One of her many philanthropic initiatives is the Imagination Library Project. The Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books free of charge to children from birth to age five. The project is funded by Dolly Parton and local community partners in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Republic of Ireland.

Children enroll in the program through a local sponsor. This can be a school department, public library, a business, or individual person. The sponsoring organization pays $2.20 per enrolled child per month. Then the child will receive a new book each month, at no cost to the child’s family. 

Given the challenges so many libraries are facing due to changing views on what is suitable content for children, now is a good time to celebrate the accomplishment. To date, the program has put more than 200 Million books into the hands of children in numerous countries. The books are mailed directly to the families requesting them.

For information and directions on how to register and participate, follow this link:

 Three: Childcare Grant from Women’s Soccer  

Women and Girls in Soccer (WAGS) is a charitable organization with a mission of empowering girls and women from all over the world through soccer. They announced an $80,000 fund to be distributed to individual female coaches and semi-pro players to help them stay in the game.

The fund is to be granted as a $1,200 Childcare Grant for each recipient. The purpose of the grant is that being unable to afford childcare is often a barrier for women to remain in the game.

Applicants must be a female licensed coach or semi-pro player competing in Fall 2023 and/or Spring 2024. The grant will be awarded to female coaches of all levels and female semi-pro players. The need-based grant application is simple in order to not further burden working moms. 

The application opened Monday, May 8, 2023, and will stay open until the fund is depleted. WAGS is thrilled to be the first to address childcare needs for women in soccer and make it possible for women to do both, be a mom and stay in the game.

WAGS seeks to empower women and girls by offering five unique programs  girls and women in soccer. The purpose is to promote confidence, strength, character and leadership in a variety of ways. The programs are:

For the complete story, follow the link below:

Four: Disaster & Reproductive Justice

In the not-so-distant past, wildfires were a blip on the radar. Now, they are seemingly a never-ending event. The fires in Maui are among the deadliest fires in US history, having killed more than 100 people, and counting. The scope of the devastation is unimaginable, and yet, there it is.

In the meantime, Hurricane Hilary has made landfall from the Baja peninsula to Los Angeles. Areas of the Southwest are expecting more rain in a couple of days than usually falls in an entire year. The scope of the damage is yet to be seen, but o much rain in so little time will create havoc and then some.

Of course, it has not been “proven” in any standard sense of the word, but the link between these two disasters is climate change.

SisterSong is one of the leading reproductive justice collectives in the country. One of the main tenets of reproductive justice is the ability to raise a child in a safe and healthy environment. They have long argued that the evidence that pollutants are impacting the health of pregnant people is everywhere. Now, a growing body of research has also linked climate change to a harmful impact for pregnant people. For example, wildfire smoke and extreme heat have driven a rise in stillbirths, preterm babies, and low birth weights.

In addition, most environmental health disparities have an outsized impact on  low-income communities of color. First, their environment tends to be more polluted and hotter, but they are also unable to pay for things like air conditioning, which can be lifesaving in extreme heat. 

Link to story about environmental impacts and SisterSong

Link to SisterSong website:

Five: Gender Neutral Clothes for Babies Become a Popular Trend 

Reaching equality and equity between women and men will happen through the accumulation of many and various changes which may seem odd or inconsequential when viewed in isolation. Gender neutral clothes are perhaps one such development. This trend is a step in the right direction. It’s a cultural cliche that “pink is for girls and blue is for boys.” The result of this attitude is that creating gender roles and gender identities starts from birth, or even in utero if the parents find out the sex of their child before birth.

For infants, gender neutral can be as easy as a broader selection of colors. There are so many shades of green that are appropriate for either gender. Then there is red, white, yellow, many shades of purple, brown and gray, prints with stars, the moon, and the sun, or cute animals like giraffes or turtles or koala bears. The list goes on. For toddlers, tweens, and teenagers sweatpants, jeans, and t-shirts do not need to be gender specific. Even for working adults, the adoption of business casual dress codes have made chinos and polo shirts almost universally acceptable. I read an article years ago that credited “wash and wear hair” for women as a major liberating step, removing the tyranny of the beauty parlor from women’s lives. A de-emphasis on make-up could prove a significant time saver as well.

This is not intended as an advertisement, but a quick Google search will reveal that the trend is well underway, and that a number of clothing manufacturers have gotten on the bandwagon. 

Reference link on Gender Neutral Clothing Contest.


New Labor Supply to Help Keep Philanthropy Women Running

Tina Turner: Her Music and Life Represented Survivors Everywhere

Not Enough! Giving for Gender Equality Totals $6.3 Billion in U.S.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.