The Texas Women’s Foundation (TWF) held its Leadership Forum and Awards Celebration on April 29th, honoring the trailblazing women making a difference for both Texas and the world. From 10 AM to 12 PM, thousands joined in on the virtual celebration, discussions, and moments of gratitude. The event served to highlight how, particularly since COVID, women’s leadership offers particular value and potential.
The celebration honored five Maura Women Helping Women Award recipients and two Young Leader Award recipients. The Maura award enters its 42nd year with over 200 past honorees who have and are implementing drastic advancement opportunities for women and girls. The Young Leader Award highlights women leaders under 40 who, through their own accomplishments, are shaping the roads of progress for women everywhere.
Join Philanthropy Women and inspiring guests on Thursday, May 20th for the next iteration of our webinar series! Gender Lens Investing: Hear From The Expertswill be a focused conversation on the power of leveraging your investments to support gender equity.
Guests Rehana Nathoo, Founder and CEO of Spectrum Impact, and Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President and CEO of Texas Women’s Foundation, will discuss gender-lens investing with Philanthropy Women’s Editor-in-Chief, Kiersten Marek.
From realigning your portfolio as an individual or an organization to hiring women financial advisors to advocating for women as a shareholder, this webinar will discuss the many ways that women can make a good return on their money and impact financial markets by investing with a gender lens.
Roll up your sleeves and get ready to get to work — the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation has arrived! Just in time for Earth Day, this planet-focused grantmaking organization is leading the conservation conversation with a three-pronged “kindness” approach. And what’s more, WILD ELEMENTS is helmed by two incredible women: Nikki Eslami and Heidi Nel.
WILD ELEMENTS is Eslami’s brainchild: as the CEO and Founder of the organization, Eslami is also a Board Member of the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation, alongside the Foundation’s President and fellow board member Heidi Nel.
WILD ELEMENTS is a purpose-first platform, which consists of three unique organizations – a nonprofit corporation (the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation), a storytelling studio, and mindfully made brands. Beginning with a $3 million investment, the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation will support the stories and innovations of leaders around the world through grantmaking, advocacy, network building, and other charitable activities.
Fiona McKay’s website asks a simple but striking question: What would the world look like if more women controlled the money? It’s a question I often find myself pondering, too, as a social worker, a small businesswoman, a parent, and a gender equality activist.
McKay isn’t just pondering this profound question, though. She’s actively doing research on the way that gender norms shape our experiences, particularly in the financial sector. She is the author of Trailblazing Women in Investment, a new report that discusses gender lens investing and the barriers that women still face with controlling the money in finance.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
When I first started out in the philanthropy space, I wish I had known to stay laser-focused on an organization’s mission. There are a lot of distractions that can cause people to stray away from their organization’s key outcomes. It takes effort to ignore the noise. By using measurable outcomes to gauge mission success, you can make a meaningful difference in building a better world. I think that my ability to zero-in on the mission helped in the organizational transformation of American Humane. If I had recognized the importance of prioritizing the mission from day one, I would have made a larger impact immediately.
The Texas Women’s Foundation’s long-held tradition of honoring leaders in women’s philanthropy continues. Their virtual Leadership Forum and Awards Celebration will be held on April 29th. Amongst the recognitions, the Maura Women Helping Women Award and the Young Leader Award are highlighted.
As the Maura Award enters its 42nd year, the five recipients are those who have adapted their own leadership roles to further the progression of women and girls in various innovative ways. With over 200 past Maura Award recipients, these women are now part of a bold and fearless group who have taken it upon themselves to make life better for women and girls in Texas, and around the world. The Young Leader Award spotlights two women who have broken glass ceilings in their own fields and industries, demonstrating the way forward towards a more gender-balanced society.
In a recent episode of Flashpoint Podcast with Cherri Gregg, Kiersten Marek joined women’s philanthropy leaders to discuss the power of women’s giving and the research showing that women philanthropists are more giving than men, and their strategy is often quite different.
In a recent episode by the Flashpoint podcast, the role of women in Philanthropy was discussed with three key members of the community. The podcast panel, led by Cherri Gregg talked about the impact of women philanthropists and how they stack up against their male counterparts.
Kiersten Marek, social worker and founder of Philanthropy Women, was accompanied by Mary Broach, the co-founder of Impact100 Philadelphia and Mary Bentley LaMar, the North Atlantic Regional director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Jewelle Bickford explains how CEOs can and must use gender lens strategy to support women in documentary Covid, Women and the US Economy.
In a BBC documentary about the impact of COVID on the economy and women in the workplace, Paradigm for Parity® Co-Chair Jewelle Bickford spoke with Nada Tawfik about the critical role CEOs play in achieving gender parity and the specific steps companies can take to support the advancement of women.
Bickford was optimistic that more employers will soon realize that hiring and advancing women of all backgrounds benefits everyone, saying “Those companies that have women on the board and in the C-Suite and throughout the company show 25% more profitability, so once companies know it’s more profitable, it lowers income inequality, and it helps stabilize the family structure, it’s a win-win.”
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresElisabeth Williams, Founder of AWE Partners, LLC, a social impact advisory firm that educates female entrepreneurs and executives on how to bake mission into their life and business for more passion, purpose, and profit.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I had known that there was a way to blend all of my passions and turn it into a career.
I studied business in undergrad and then went on to pursue my MBA. I loved business, but I was also passionate about making a difference in the world. At the time I was in the corporate world, back in the late 80s and 90s, there wasn’t as much opportunity to merge profit and purpose. And there certainly wasn’t as much of a concern for people and the planet! I wish I had known that I had it within me to create something new – a new way forward.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
Prior to founding BitGive, I worked in another profession for 15 years. It was another world, so to speak. Entering the budding Bitcoin industry in its early years (2013), I wish I had known more to expect the challenge of aligning the perspectives of those in finance and tech with a vision of revolutionizing global philanthropy.
In my previous career, I worked with environmental nonprofits in California, advocating within the California legislature, and state and regional agencies. It was a challenge, but eventually we were able to get them to see the benefits of investing in natural resources. Shifting the perspective of tech- and finance- driven people to see how we could dramatically improve philanthropy, and to then take action and invest in our innovative approach, has been more of a gap than I anticipated; however, we are making great strides with our work and through our partnerships, and I can see a significant shift in sight!