Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features GwenTillman, Chief People Officer for Tides, a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
By the time I took a sabbatical from working in the technology sector, I was burned out. I didn’t realize how burned out I was until I allowed myself some time to step back and figure out what I wanted my life to be about. As one of the very few Black women in my field, I constantly drove myself to perform at 1000%, and I think that’s true of many Black women who feel the systemic pressure to constantly prove themselves. What I wish I knew early on in my career is that none of us can function at 1000%, when our bodies and our souls are functioning at 50%. We have to be better advocates for our own well-being because nothing is worth risking your health. Find a career that is consistent with your values and an organization that grants you the grace to live a balanced life and feeds your soul, at the same time. I am happy to say, I have found that at Tides.
Women’s History Month was definitely one for the books, especially with Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall initiative dispersing $3 million in grants at the end of the month. This newest funding was allocated to four grassroots organizations focused on breaking down educational barriers for women in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota gave grants to eight organizations to expand on its “Not For Sale” campaign, creating the Fund for Safety.
The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) has awarded eight grants totaling $205,000 to nonprofit organizations and the City of Minneapolis through its Fund for Safety. WFMN’s Fund for Safety resources innovation to end gender-based violence, a continuum that includes sex trafficking, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. The Fund for Safety continues and expands upon the investments made through the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s MN Girls Are Not For Sale campaign.
The Living Equality Gala, an event organized by the ERA Coalition, started with Broadway singer Rebecca Naomi Jones singing a rousing rendition of “Ain’t it Good.”
“It is in fact really good,” said Caroline Clarke, who, along with Debra Messing, co-hosted the event. “We are all gathered here tonight to celebrate that for the first time in 99 years, our congress has unflinchingly declared that women’s equality is a priority in the United States of America.”
Both Messing and Clarke discussed the pivotal year we are in for the landmark Equal Rights Amendment, with 2021 being seen as the year that the Amendment will finally be added to the U.S. Constitution.
The Collective Future Fund has chosen 25 organizations to start its first multi-year grantmaking effort, pledging a total of $11 million.
On March 31st, 2021, the Collective Future Fund (CFF) awarded grants to 25 organizations in its first multi-year grantmaking effort, totaling $11 million over the next three years. The grant recipients are working at the forefront of movements to end gender-based violence in all its forms, and are all led by BIPOC women, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary and im/migrant survivors of color.
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 (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.
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.
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.
The Black Feminist Fund just received a generous commitment of $15M from the Ford Foundation to jumpstart this new effort.
On March 25th, the Ford Foundation announced its commitment of $15 million in seed funding to help launch the Black Feminist Fund, a new philanthropic fund developed and led by a core group of Black feminists who sit at the nexus of feminist organizing, advocacy, and philanthropy globally. Ford’s initial investment will be vital to help jumpstart the fund’s work to create a network of support around key issues that impact Black women around the globe.
The Fifth Third Foundation’s Innovation Meets Main Street program has announced the black, women-owned businesses receiving $1.2M in grants.
The Fifth Third Foundation announced the recipients of $1.2 million in grants for Black, woman-owned businesses and the organizations that serve them through the Innovation Meets Main Street: Boosting Black, Woman-owned Businesses program, which was announced in September 2020.
The initiative was a partnership between Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity and was completely powered by Fifth Third as a part of a larger $8.75 million pledge to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Women Moving Millions led a lively discussion as part of its 2021 #GenerationEquality Series. Entitled “Building a Blueprint for a Gender Equal World,” the virtual event featured Latanya Mapp Frett (Global Fund for Women), Michelle Milford Morse (UN Foundation), and Kavita Ramdas (Open Society Foundations).
Executive Director Sarah Haacke Byrd began the day’s event with a moment of silence for the Asian-American community in Atlanta, where violent attacks in local spas have recently taken place. She also shared context for the day’s conversation, following the 25th anniversary of the Beijing agreement for gender equality. New legislation is due to be created and ratified within the United Nations, all designed to gather the world’s powers to advance gender equality.