The Tech Accelerator Aiming to Address the Climate Emergency

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving In Real Life series features Elodie Read, Program and Community Partnerships Lead at Subak, the first global non-profit tech accelerator dedicated to combatting the climate emergency. 

elodie read
Elodie Read, courtesy of Elodie Read

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

I’m pretty early on in my career so this is quite a tricky question to answer. At university and grad school, everyone is full of conviction, zeal and a healthy dose of naivety about how the world is and how it should be. When you start working, it can be easy to get bogged down in reality, but I think it’s important to remember why we got into this kind of work and to keep working with our values and goals at the front of our minds.

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Finance Expert: Minimize Charity. Maximize Gender Lens Investing


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 10, 2019.

Tracy Gray has something important to tell women about their philanthropy: do less of it. It’s not the usual message that donors get from the world, and it’s not the usual message here at Philanthropy Women, either. But the context of this message comes from Gray’s conviction that the quicker we grow women’s wealth through gender lens investing, the quicker we will move toward a better society.

Tracy Gray is the Founder of the 22 Fund, a growth equity investment firm that seeks to create more quality employment opportunities for women and people of color. (Photo credit: anitab.org)

“Take some of your money out of charity and put it into women-owned or women-led businesses,” Gray advised women donors, in a recent phone chat with Philanthropy Women.

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Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?

Editor’s Note: The following article was originally published on February 17, 2021.

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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Shayna Hetzel’s Vision for Gender Equality: An Open Sky as the Norm

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Shayna Hetzel, Community and Social Impact Investment Director at the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact. 

shayna hetzel
Shayna Hetzel, courtesy of Shayna Hetzel

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

 My greatest professional challenges, opportunities and successes have been rooted in unapologetic aspirations, insightful mentors and the brilliance of a team. I wish I had known early on how to set better boundaries and ask for help more often, because I have found that boundaries and help are leverage points for productivity, engagement and inclusion. And, fundamentally, community-based, purpose-driven work only gets stronger and bolder with focused, diverse and inclusive contributions. Asking for help not only builds in resilience and wellness for the individual. It also increases team capacity, levels up organizational competencies, and builds a more diverse and inclusive point of view.

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Due Diligence and Risk-Taking in Gender Lens Investing (Liveblog)

On Thursday, May 20th, the Philanthropy Women staff teamed up with Roslyn Dawson Thompson and Rehana Nathoo to discuss the importance of gender lens investing: what it is, how it works, and why we should focus our efforts on it.

gender lens investing

Guests Rehana Nathoo, Founder and CEO of Spectrum Impact, and Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President and CEO of Texas Women’s Foundation, discussed gender-lens investing with Philanthropy Women’s Editor-in-Chief, Kiersten Marek.

The conversation opened with a welcome to the day’s speakers and attendees, as well as a general thanks to Invest for Better for facilitating our conversation with Rehana and Roslyn. Citing the male-dominated nature of finance and corporate life, Kiersten shared her experiences in investing in a gender lens Exchange Traded Fund (EFT) called SHE.

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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.

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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