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.

jamie sears
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.

gender lens

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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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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Jewelle Bickford: Devote Your Company to Gender Lens Strategy

Jewelle Bickford explains how CEOs can and must use gender lens strategy to support women in documentary Covid, Women and the US Economy.

Jewelle Bickford, Co-Chair of Paradigm for Parity® is a renowned financial advisor with a clear 5-Point Action Plan to help CEOs use a gender lens. (Image credit: Crain's New York)
Jewelle Bickford, Co-Chair of Paradigm for Parity® is a renowned financial advisor with a clear 5-Point Action Plan to help CEOs use a gender lens. (Image credit: Crain’s New York)

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.”

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The BitGive Strategy to Support Women Via Crypto-Philanthropy

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Connie Gallippi, Founder and Executive Director of the BitGive Foundation, which supports cryptocurrency-driven philanthropy. 

Connie Gallippi
Connie Gallippi, courtesy of Connie Gallippi

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!  

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Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?

When it comes to maximizing our financial impact, there is often an “either/or” approach to leveraging wealth. Do we use our dollars to fund a philanthropic effort, like a campaign or organization dedicated to women and girls, or do we turn our funds toward investment opportunities, like supporting companies with a strong commitment to diversity?

Ellen Remmer is a Senior Partner at The Philanthropic Institute (TPI) and Champion of Invest for Better. (Image Credit: Invest for Better/Ellen Remmer)

As new forms of giving spring up to meet the challenges — and opportunities — of a digital society, we are able to move further away from that attitude of “either/or.” There are ways to stretch our donor dollars further — through two types of collectives that maximize impact.

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Become an Invest for Better Circle Leader: Apply by February 10th!

If you’ve wanted to form an impact circle but aren’t sure how to get started, Invest for Better has the program for you. Applications are now open for the Spring 2021 Cohort of Invest for Better’s Circle Leader program. Kicking off on February 11th, this free training program offers the resources and know-how for women to form, lead, and grow their own impact investing circles.

The Spring 2021 cohort of Invest for Better’s Circle Leader training program begins on February 11th, 2021. (Image Credit: Invest for Better)

Invest for Better is a national initiative aimed at helping women demystify impact investing, take control of their capital and mobilize their money for good. It is non-profit and non-transactional, designed to address the “aspiration gap” between women’s interest and their action by overcoming obstacles to participation, and building trusted peer communities.

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(Liveblog) Leveraging the Unique Power of Women’s Collective Giving

Bright and early on Wednesday, January 27th, women from all over the country joined Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Carmen Stevens of Women’s Giving Circles International (WGCI) for a collaborative workshop on collective giving.

Sondra opened the event by welcoming the attendees and speakers, and introducing the day’s topics.

“The power of women’s philanthropy has changed not only the countries we live in, but changed us as well,” she said.

Carmen Stevens on Global Giving Circles

Carmen Stevens introduced the history of WGCI, which works to provide educational resources for women all over the world looking to start and grow their own giving circles. Primarily focused on circles outside of the United States, WGCI facilitates circle creation, networking, and mentorship all over the globe, but particularly in Latin America, Europe, and the organization’s most recent programs in Asia.

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Catherine Berman: Together, We Can Move Mountains

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Catherine Berman, CEO and Co-founder of impact investment platform CNote.

Catherine Berman, courtesy of Catherine Berman

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

Question what others deem impossible.

2. What is your current greatest professional challenge?

Education. We see values-based investing as a game-changer for both investing and creating a more sustainable, equitable world.  We spend a lot of time helping investors and donors learn about the measurable difference they can make with their investments without sacrificing returns or operational ease. Many of us grew up learning the only way to support the causes and communities we care about was through grants. That is no longer the case. We see impact investing as an important opportunity to double-down on the causes you care about and a way to authentically represent your values with every dollar; where you spend, where you donate, and where you invest.

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