U.S. Bank Access Fund to Focus $25M on Women of Color in Business

The $25M U.S. Bank Access Fund will be deployed as long term investments to 3 partner organizations supporting women of color in business.

The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)
The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)

U.S. Bank introduced the details of the $25 million U.S. Bank Access Fund – a fund for women of color microbusiness owners, which was first announced in February. The fund, a collaboration between U.S. Bank Foundation and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), will include long-term investments of grants and capital funding to three partners: the African American Alliance of Black CDFI CEOs (the Alliance), Grameen America and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The fund is part of U.S. Bank Access Commitment, the company’s long-term approach to help build wealth while redefining how the bank serves diverse communities and provides more opportunities for diverse employees.

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Jamie Sears of UBS: The Value of More Victories for Women in Biz

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Jamie Sears, Head of Community Affairs and Corporate Responsibility for the Americas with the global financial firm UBS, who also leads the UBS Foundation USA.

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Jamie Sears of UBS discusses ways we can do more to support women entrepreneurs. (image courtesy of Jamie Sears)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

Get practice using your voice, and don’t be afraid to use it. That was important when I started out and is still important now. I grew up as an adopted Asian American in a small town that was predominantly white and, from my earliest days, I did not feel comfortable speaking up.  Even as I moved through life and a career at some incredible organizations, I largely put my head down, did the work and thought it would speak for me. That is not how the world works if you want to have a big impact. I wish I had known the power of believing that my voice was worth something, and that the most powerful thing I could do is use it to advocate for myself and for others. Ultimately, it’s about having the confidence to know that you are contributing to the world. 

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Free Gender Lens Investing Webinar Discussing Options with Experts!

Join Philanthropy Women and inspiring guests on Thursday, May 20th for the next iteration of our webinar series! Gender Lens Investing: Hear From The Experts will be a focused conversation on the power of leveraging your investments to support gender equity.

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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.

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Activating Philanthropy – Part 3: Talking to Family About Giving

Editor’s Note: This article is Part Three in our four-part Activating Philanthropy series. In this series, we explore ways to bring your philanthropic ideals into your everyday life, activating the lessons we’ve learned along the way. For the rest of the series, check out Part One: Philanthropy in Daily Routines, Part Two: What It Means to “Call Your Congresswoman”, Part Three: Talking to Family About Giving, and Part Four: How to Start a Giving Circle. 

Talking to family about social giving can sometimes feel like a daunting task — but it doesn’t have to be. (Image Credit: Bewakoof)

Giving can strengthen a relationship between family members — but more often than not, “political talk” can cause major strain at the dinner table. So how do we balance our desire for collaborative philanthropy with not getting into unnecessary tangles with family members?

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Asia Foundation to Honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need

The Asia Foundation’s 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher and Women In Need for their work for women in Asia and the Pacific.

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)
The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 18th at 6pm EST / 3pm PST (Image credit: Asia Foundation)

The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher for her pioneering leadership in women’s economic empowerment and sustainability, and Women In Need (WIN), a non-profit partner working to end gender-based violence in Sri Lanka. The celebration will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28th and features appearances by ABC “Nightline’s” Juju Chang and “Law and Order: SVU” actor Mariska Hargitay.

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Mastercard Invests Millions in Venture Capital with Fearless Fund

Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built to support women of color, has received a huge investment from Mastercard.

Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)
Mastercard has made a muti-million dollar investment to Fearless Fund to help black-owned businesses (Image credit: Fearless Fund)

Black women are building and growing businesses faster than any other segment and yet receive less than one percent of venture capital funding. In addition, only three percent of the people actually leading investments at VC firms are Black according to the National Venture Capital Association. To help further access to funding for Black women, Mastercard today announced a multi-million dollar investment in Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund built by women of color for women of color.

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How is Bank of America Responding to the Rise in Anti-Asian Hate?

In response to the rise in anti-Asian hate in the U.S., Bank of America has increased its commitment to racial equality to $1.25 billion.

Bank of America announced a $1B commitment over four years in June 2020, but has decided to increase the donation in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate. (Image credit: Bank of America)
Bank of America announced a $1B commitment over four years in June 2020, but has decided to increase the donation in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate. (Image credit: Bank of America)

Bank of America today announced that it has increased its $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity to $1.25 billion over five years. This effort further accelerates work already underway to address racial equality and opportunity through direct actions, investments and work to catalyze similar efforts across the private sector.

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How Robert Wood Johnson Fdn is Funding Growth for Girls Who Invest

Girls Who Invest, being backed by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will bring 175 new students to its Summer Intensive Program.

Girls Who Invest works to include more women in the world of asset management and finances. (Image credit: GWI)
Girls Who Invest works to include more women in the world of asset management and finances. (Image credit: GWI)

Girls Who Invest (GWI), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in portfolio management and executive leadership in the asset management industry, welcomes a cohort of 175 scholars to its 2021 Summer Intensive Program.

Through GWI’s flagship ten-week program, each of these accomplished rising college juniors will complete a four-week rigorous program of study on the core tenets of investing. The program is taught by leading academics and industry professionals, including faculty from the Wharton School and UCLA Anderson School of Management. Scholars then complete six-week paid internships in frontline investing at one of GWI’s more than 100 partner firms. After completing the academic program (held virtually for the second year), scholars are equipped with the industry knowledge and financial, technical, and soft business skills required to excel in their internships and future asset management roles. The scholars participating in this year’s Summer Intensive Program will join more than 500 women who have successfully completed the program since 2016.

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Fiona McKay: Financial Sector Must Evolve to Prioritize Social Returns

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.

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Fiona McKay, author of the report, Trailblazing Women in Investment. (Image Credit: Fiona McKay)

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.

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Exposé: Which Companies Are Failing the Gender Pay Scorecard?

More than half of the companies received an “F” that were rated on the Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact “Racial and Gender Pay Scorecard”.

The 4th edition of the "Racial and Gender Pay Scorecard" analyzed the quantitative disclosures of 51 companies worldwide. (Image credit: Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact)
The 4th edition of the “Racial and Gender Pay Scorecard” analyzed the quantitative disclosures of 51 companies worldwide. (Image credit: Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact)

Of 51 companies examined in the “Racial and Gender Pay Scorecard” released on March 23rd to mark Equal Pay Day, fewer than one in 10 — Mastercard, Starbucks, Pfizer, Citigroup, and Bank of New York Mellon – get an “A,” while over half (26) get an “F.”

The 4th edition of the Scorecard is being released by the investment management firm Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact. The grades are based on quantitative disclosures (versus qualitative assurances) by companies taking concrete steps to close racial and gender pay gaps. The 51 companies in the ranking have all been engaged by investors through the shareholder proposal process and asked to improve their public pay equity disclosures.

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