Heft or Hype: Does Women’s Leadership in Philanthropy Matter? –

hillaryJudging from the popularity of our recent feature, “Meet the 50 Most Powerful Women in U.S. Philanthropy,” it seems the world of philanthropy is more receptive than ever to amplifying the growth of women’s leadership.

But what’s really going on here? What’s the impact of women’s leadership in philanthropy in terms of (a) where resources are actually going; and (b) how things are done in the philanthrosphere?

These questions are important to the sector, but they also link up with the larger perennial debate over just how much change occurs when women start calling the shots. Philanthropy offers an intriguing case study in this regard.

Our own impression from IP’s ongoing reporting in this area is that there are good reasons for all the excitement about women’s leadership in philanthropy. In fact, this leadership has mobilized new resources to advance gender equity and does seem to be affecting how philanthropy writ large operates.

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Path to Empowerment: A Women’s Fdn Focused on Economics

Nearly every week at Inside Philanthropy I meet another woman leader who shows me a way that women’s funds and foundations are impacting the philanthropy landscape, and breaking down barriers to equality for women and girls. This week I talked to Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President and CEO of the Dallas Women’s Foundation (now the Texas Women’s Foundation) and the chair of the board of directors of the Women’s Funding Network.

Much of our discussion was about the role of economic security in empowering women. “If women are not able to achieve economic security then it has massive implications for workforce development and the economics of every state and the country overall,” said Thompson.

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