On January 30, 2024, the Womens’ Philanthropy Institute (WPI) of Indiana University hosted a webinar to look into a crystal ball and discuss what members of the giving community believe is coming our way in the coming year.
The moderator was Jeannie Sager, Executive Director of WPI. Panelists included
Elizabeth Barajas Romắn, President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network (WFN);
Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA); and
Kiersten Marek, Founder and CEO of Philanthropy Women (PW)
To start, Jeannie Sager established five key trends as identified by research of WPI:
Charlotte Mangin and Sandra Rattley have launched a new production company together named Audacious Women Productions. This new company follows the success of UNLADYLIKE2020. This award winning series has reached over 6 million viewers to date.
With a mission to uncover and elevate untold narratives of diverse changemakers in bold new ways, Audacious Women Productions extends the impact of its documentary films through the design of multimedia educational resources, and film screenings and events across the country in partnership with community and national organizations. Charlotte and Sandy are thrilled to continue working together to bring inspiring, innovative, and timely stories to intergenerational audiences.
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to choose where we live. For most people, the decision often depends on employment: people relocate to a place with a better economy to find a job, or as a necessary step to start working at a new job. After college, I relocated from my home state of Michigan to Boston because the economy was much more robust. It has been my good fortune because the decision has worked out very well. While working remotely is not a universally available option, whether due to the nature of the work, like a nurse or a mechanic, it is easier to do and more widely available than ever before.
And where we live has repercussions beyond the availability of jobs. Quality of life issues matter. Diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of lifestyle matter. Access to quality health care really matters. Health care includes reproductive rights and reproductive rights is more than being able to make your own decisions about your body. For example, how does your state of residence rank in terms of being a good place to have a baby?
The last couple of posts have had a focus on men and the difficulties they are supposedly facing. Let’s turn that around and focus on the success of women as leaders who stand up to their difficulties and manage to break out of the constraints they face and achieve some significant accomplishments. The first two below do just that.
One: Hypatia Capital
On the face of it, Hypatia Capital is an investment firm. However, the first two sentences of the mission statement very clearly indicate it is much more than that. It is an idea supported by concrete proof. Hypatia has created an ETF called WCEO. As the mission statement says:
For inspiration today, I’d like to turn to a news story set in Rosh Ha’ayin, a municipality in the northeast of Tel Aviv. The municipality was recently promoting a children’s performance where the seats closest to the stage were reserved for men, while the seats in the back of the hall were reserved for women. They claimed that this arrangement was made to “meet the needs of the entire population, based on their preferences.
The Israel Women’s Network demanded that Rosh Ha’ayin end the gender segregated seating.
“Separation between men and women in the public space, particularly between boys and girls, as part of an event supported by public funding, is forbidden and violates the law,” Gili Zinger, the director of the legal department at the Israel Women’s Network, wrote to the Rosh Ha’ayin municipality.
Hello Feminist Giving friends! This week at Philanthropy Women brings some exciting news for us. As it turns out, a male ally to gender equality givers is retiring after 33 years as a business analyst, and he is going to be joining us as a writer at Philanthropy Women. This new writer and thinker will be adding fuel to our fire as the only funding news outlet in the world exclusively devoted to women. And who is this exciting addition to our team?
Why, it’s none other than my husband of over 25 years, Kevin Marek! As of May 26, he will be taking off the corporate shackles and rejoining the rest of the world to pursue all of his many interests and hobbies, and one of those interests is in being a male ally to the cause of gender equality.
Greetings and welcome to Philanthropy Women! It’s Kiersten Marek here, the founder and editor of PW. Today there are many new happenings I want to share with you from the feminist giving realm, but first I want to take a moment to acknowledge an issue that has caused difficulty for us as a publication: the phenomenon of feminist givers being taught not to love themselves, and to see funding news about their work as an indulgence.
As women, broadly speaking, we are taught not to love ourselves, to discredit our own work, and to downplay our own accomplishments. One of the reasons I started Philanthropy Women was because I wanted to reverse that trend — to make it possible, and, dare I say, easy, to feel good about yourself as a funder of gender equality.
Women’s Philanthropy thought leader, Kathleen Loehr, is retiring. In a truly unique model of legacy, she is leaving her papers and research to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at Indiana University. And, she’s leaving her exclusive methods, treasured insights and archive to me and seven other hand-selected women she has chosen to continue living out her legacy and growing Women’s Philanthropy: The Women’s Philanthropy Alliance.
I am honored to be a part of this elite group of industry experts and thought leaders on Women’s Philanthropy, and I will do my best each and every day to make Kathleen proud. My journey thus far is a personal one, which led me to understand how, even as an expert in DEI for Philanthropy and a philanthropist myself, I had somehow compartmentalized gender along the way. The danger here is that if I can do it, anyone can, and so I vowed to craft my work in Women’s Philanthropy in the most impactful way as possible.
Well, hello my lovely feminist giving friends! I hope you are all getting on fine. It’s time for another update on some of the gender lens philanthropic and investing activity in the world. Before we start, I want to alert readers that we have a limited number of copies of Feminist Giving available at a reduced rate for sale on Ebay. So if you don’t already have your copy of the book, now is your chance to pick one up at a great price, either for yourself, a friend, or even your local library if you so choose. Our book is particularly suited to libraries that are aiming to be a resource for marginalized groups.
What’s Going On in the World of Feminist Giving?
1. Our Partners at Alliance are Doing it Up for Women’s History Month
Now that I have had to step back a bit from my writing to pursue a top secret second career (it’s a don’t ask, don’t tell situation, so I appreciate your cooperation!) our partners at Alliance Magazine have taken on a much stronger agenda to serve the feminist giving community with news and views on this more essential form of philanthropy. There’s lots of great content there, including a piece from the Women’s Funding Network on the importance of Black giving. They are also dedicating a whole webinar to the topic of women’s funding which will take place on March 14. Register here to participate.
Have you ever wondered why, if we care so much about gender equality in the US, we make no progress on basic indicators like wage equality, which has been at a virtual standstill since 1994?
One of the themes that my book, Feminist Giving, explores is the question of what makes certain ideas valuable, so valuable that they enter the mainstream of culture and become practiced in significant behavior changes.
The book demonstrates that what philanthropy does to change its behavior is very much a mirror of the rest of society. Sadly, the book concludes that it’s still a man’s world, and philanthropy remains a part of that problem.