Women’s funds partner with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote economic mobility for women and girls in wake of the COVID crisis
SAN FRANCISCO — Women’s Funding Network today announced the cohort selection for its Regional Women’s Economic Mobility Hub project, as part of an 18-month effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase support and resources necessary to advance economic mobility among women and girls.
The project is being launched at a pivotal time when economic mobility is essential to surviving the financial uncertainties resulting from the COVID crisis. The cohort includes Chicago Foundation for Women, Maine Women’s Fund, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, Iowa Women’s Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Western New York Women’s Foundation and Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis.
WASHINGTON, DC, May 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The global pandemic is making the country’s student debt crisis exponentially worse, according to a new analysis by the American Association of University Women. AAUW concludes that, unless policymakers take further action to combat student debt and bolster the U.S. economy, millions of women college graduates will face unprecedented burdens that will hamper their economic security for years to come.
A fellowship granting fund, EllevateHER Forward equips women who have been economically impacted by the pandemic with tools and resources to return to work.
NEW YORK, May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Ellevate Network, the largest community of women at work, launches EllevateHER Forward, a fellowship granting fund designed to alleviate the economic burden of the novel coronavirus pandemic on women and support their journey back to the workplace.
EllevateHER Forward Fellows are equipped with comprehensive membership packages that include networking opportunities, a wide range of professional and personal development programming, online resources, Ellevate’s signature 12-week virtual program Squads, and access to a community of over 150,000+ women. Contributions made to the fund will be matched up to $250,000 by Ellevate Network.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features the President of UNICEF USA’s Impact Fund for Children, Cristina Shapiro.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
Don’t make perfect the enemy of good — or great. Research shows that women feel like they need to be perfect and fully knowledgeable before they contribute or apply to new opportunities — I certainly did, and it likely held me back at the beginning of my career.
Another thing I wish I realized was that equality and equity are not the same. Though women may have equal rights in many parts of the world, that doesn’t mean they have the same access to opportunities, resulting in significant inequity. As a Hispanic woman in finance, there were very few role models that looked like me. Now, I know it is up to me to help change that dynamic.
The Texas Women’s Foundation (TWF) recently announced that 100 percent of its $36 million dollars in financial assets are now invested in a “gendered impact” portfolio.
The gender impact strategy seeks a strong return on investment while having the investment itself—and not just the return that accrues to Texas Women’s Foundation—benefit women and girls. This approach makes TWF the first and only women’s fund or foundation to move all of its financial assets—which include endowments, operating investments and donor-advised funds—into gendered impact.
“We hope that we can inspire others to become part of what is now a global movement around impact investing,” says Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and CEO. “Specifically for women’s funds and foundations, we can demonstrate how, by mission-aligning 100% of our assets with our philanthropy, we can powerfully accelerate the change we seek in the world.”
Imagine that you had lived your life up to this point never experiencing the internet. No smart phones, no online recipes, no Google searches or social media.
How much would your life change if, one day, you were connected to the online world?
The potential uses of internet access are abundant: education, job training, medical resources, advancements in farming and agriculture, communication with people across the world, all available at the touch of a button. For many communities, however, that online world is something out of science fiction. Women, children, and entire societies fly under the radar of education and international support simply because they live without access to the world’s information superhighway.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Maricella Herrera, vice president of Operations and Strategy at Ellevate Network, “a community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed.”
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
When I first started out, I thought my career was already laid out for me; I was going into my first job at a bank, I would rise in the ranks, get more responsibility, go to business school, go back to finance and keep going until I retired. It was what was expected. I never really understood that to be completely happy, I needed to find something that didn’t just intellectually stimulate me, but that resonated with my values. I didn’t know you could build a career in an area that was about doing good. When I first started out, social enterprises were nascent. Not many people were thinking about them. I wish I had known I could find my passion and what I’m good at in one place, and that it wouldn’t necessarily be what everyone else thought I was supposed to be doing, and that that was ok. My background is in business and finance, so knowing I can use those skills to make a difference in the world is exciting.
Today, we want to believe we are so connected and empowered as women, and yet, Jennifer Schlecht was not connected enough to be protected from the brutal murder of herself and her precious daughter at the hands of her husband. We got many times the average number of page views for this post. Ariel Dougherty did an excellent job of combining resources and analysis in the piece, but the fact that it got so many page views also suggests that this story was vastly under-reported in the mainstream news. While I’m proud to hold up the banner and call attention to this terrible domestic violence tragedy, I also urge other publishers and news outlets to take up the discussion of domestic violence by publishing articles about victims like Jennifer Schlecht, so that we can find more solutions that address violence against women.
This post also got a much higher number of page views than most of our posts. It seemed to hit a nerve, with several commenters dissenting from my opinion that MacKenzie Bezos may have deserved more. It’s an important question that needs further exploration from funders: how to ensure that women are adequately compensated in divorce. The Bezos divorce could have produced billions and billions more for philanthropy, had the financial settlement been a more 50/50 arrangement. In any case, it got people talking, and paying attention to, the philanthropy of MacKenzie Bezos.
With women’s reproductive rights being stolen away in parts of the country, it was heartening to report on Rhode Island’s successful passage of protections for access to reproductive health care. We hope this article provides a template that other states can consider as they find ways to protect a woman’s right to choose.
The lack of women in media was a major topic this past year, with films including This Changes Everything showcasing the data that proves that women continue to lack employment in and coverage by all forms of media. Laura Dorwart’s piece on The Women’s Media Center’s research and its ongoing fight to call attention to this problem did its job: it got seen by lots of eyeballs, and hopefully added to the momentum to actually do something about this problem.
This piece on Paypal’s research on women’s giving patterns also had a very high page view rate, with lots of shares on social media as well. People are drawn to knowing more about the curious fact that women have less to give, and yet manage to give more than men. Bottom line: more research like this needs to happen, so we can begin to understand the way that gender and philanthropy relate to each other and influence social change.
One of the most important conferences this past year was WFN’s September conference in San Francisco. So many amazing leaders attended, and the speakers and workshops provided for a deep and purposeful convergence of women givers and their allies.
Women Moving Millions continues to show itself as an organization with great passion for moving the needle on gender equality. This interview by our Senior Writer Maggie May with WMM’s new Executive Director, Sarah Haacke Byrd, helps to drill down on how this network is refashioning itself to train a cadre of feminist givers who know the strategies for high impact.
Another post that saw a high rate of page views was our piece on the Culture Change Fund, spearheaded by the Women’s Foundation of California. This cross-sector collaboration of corporate, private, and public foundations was a story of great interest to our readers, many of whom are working at different levels to build stakeholder alliances for gender equality movements.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the Top 10 Posts of 2019 on Philanthropy Women! Check back next year for our top posts of 2020.
CARE RECEIVES COMMITMENT OF NEARLY $7M FROM THE ARTHUR M. BLANK FAMILY FOUNDATION
The organization dedicated to fighting global poverty by empowering women and girls partners with Atlanta family foundation to invest in communities and save lives
(Atlanta, GA) On November 14, 2019, CARE announced a three-year $6.8M grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to support international programs that foster economic development, influence policy change, and provide humanitarian aid for people affected by natural and man-made disasters. The partnership marks the first strategic international expansion of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation’s philanthropic efforts, which promote positive change in peoples’ lives and build and enhance the communities in which they live.
December 9, 2019 — The Coca-Cola Company is marking its 100th anniversary as a public company today with a $1 million grant to Girls Who Invest from The Coca-Cola Foundation.
Girls Who Invest (GWI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in investment management, with a specific focus on increasing the pipeline of women entering the industry in frontline investing and leadership positions.
The grant will provide scholarships for approximately 40 women at U.S. colleges and universities to explore careers in investment management by participating in rigorous, four-week on-campus training programs at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Notre Dame or the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
The academic program is followed by a six-week paid internship at one of GWI’s more than 100 partner investment management firms in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, during which scholars work alongside investment management teams.