Experts: What Government Must Do Now to Ensure Gender Equality

Editor’s Note: The London School of Economics and Political Science, led by director Baroness Minouche Shafik, has published a statement on gender equality signed by multiple leaders including Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Vera Songwe, Kristalina Georgieva, Christine Lagarde, and Ursula von der Leyen.

COVID-19 has caused a health crisis for billions around the world and inflicted the worst economic pain in decades. And wherever we look a key theme recurs: no matter the geography or wealth of the country, women and girls bear the heaviest burden of economic hardship. That hurts all of us.

gender equality
The London School of Economics and Political Science has issued a joint statement from leaders of economics institutions, advising governments on how to maximize gender equality efforts. (Image credit: LSE)

As leaders representing leading economic institutions, we share this urgent message: to rebuild our global economy and improve the lives of all people, governments must prioritise gender equality in their economic recovery strategies.

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Announcing the Black Girl Freedom Fund’s First Six Grantees

The Black Girl Freedom Fund has announced the six organizations that will be receiving grants ranging from $50K to $100K.

The Black Girl Freedom Fund is the largest initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color. (Image credit: Black Girl Freedom Fund)
The Black Girl Freedom Fund is the largest initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color. (Image credit: Black Girl Freedom Fund)

The Black Girl Freedom Fund, an initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, announced its first grant recipients. The grantmaking was guided by an advisory committee of seven Black girls and Black gender-expansive youth between the ages of 13-17 years old. 

The Black Girl Freedom Fund is focusing its first round of grants for Black-girls serving organizations that address safety and wellbeing of Black girls. Along with the fund, the #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign aims to mobilize $1 billion for Black girls and young women over the next 10 years. The campaign has mobilized  $17 million since it was first launched in September.

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Divorce Gap Alert: Why Melinda French Gates Deserves 50%

Here I am again, wanting to talk about divorce in the billionaire class. Today’s discussion will focus on Melinda French Gates, who recently filed for divorce from Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world.

Sun reflects off the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. (Photo by Taylor Vick on Unsplash)

We saw how it went down with MacKenzie Scott. She got about 26.9% of the assets in her divorce from Jeff Bezos. Soon after, we learned that MacKenzie Scott was one of the newest signatories of the Giving Pledge and would now (in theory) be giving away at least half her wealth while living. {sigh} So many more billions of dollars that MacKenzie Scott could have had to work with to do her off-the-charts giving, had she gotten 50%.

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New Paradigm: Shifting Power as We Rebuild America with a Gender Lens

Editor’s Note: With the crisis of COVID comes the opportunity to see the world in a different light: one that values people of all genders and progresses toward greater economic and social justice. Here, Joy Anderson, President and Founder of Criterion Institute and Teresa Younger, CEO and President of the Ms. Foundation for Women, urge us to respond to the crisis by taking guidance from gender justice movement-builders.

(Image credit: Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash)

Imagine a world where financial actors actively sought out and paid gender experts to advise them on lending criteria and the terms attached to stimulus loans. Imagine gender justice organizations weighing in on reports produced by banks and consulting firms, shaping the narrative of where asset holders should be investing. Imagine if a key indicator of economic recovery was not how large-cap US stocks are trading, but how many women, nonbinary individuals, and people of color have returned to work in safe jobs that pay a fair wage and offered benefits.

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Synchrony Commits $15M to Venture Funds that Focus on WOC

Synchrony has announced its commitment of $15 million to venture capital funds prioritizing the support of women of color.

Synchrony has recognized the lack of representation of women of color in venture capital funding, and is taking matters into its own hands. (Image credit: PRNewsfoto/Synchrony)
Synchrony has recognized the lack of representation of women of color in venture capital funding, and is taking matters into its own hands. (Image credit: PRNewsfoto/Synchrony)

Synchrony, a premier consumer financial services company, today announced it will commit $15 million to venture capital funds led by Black, Latinx, and female investing partners. The first funds selected to receive money include Chingona VenturesSeae Ventures, and  Zeal Capital Partners – they support early stage startups across the fintech, healthcare, and future of work sectors. Additional funds may be included at a later date. The move builds on Synchrony’s commitment to support minority and women entrepreneurs and underrepresented communities, while also advancing Synchrony Ventures’ direct investment strategy to accelerate growth and innovation for Synchrony, its partners, and consumers.

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WOC Environmental Activists: Apply for Catalyst Award by June 17!

Rachel’s Network just announced the 2021 award cycle of its initiative honoring women of color fighting for the environment: The Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award recognizes women of color across the country who are leveraging their activism for environmental impact.

Rachel’s Network is now accepting applications for its Catalyst Award, supporting women of color environmental activists. (Image credit: Rachel’s Network)

With applications and nominations due by June 17th, now is the ideal time to make your voice heard in the world of eco-activism.

Winners of the Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award receive a $10,000 prize, networking opportunities with the full network, and public recognition within the environmental, philanthropic, and women’s leadership communities.

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Chera Reid: “My Being and Doing are One and the Same”

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Chera Reid, Co-Executive Director, Center for Evaluation Innovation.

chera reid
Chera Reid, Co-Executive Director of Evaluation Roundtable at the Center for Evaluation Innovation, shares her insights on how we can become a more diverse community. (Image credit: Chera Reid)

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

I wish I had known that it was me, in my whole human self, that was what every organization needed from me. It was and is me that organizations are asking for. When I was starting out professionally, I was ready with my resume and eager to please. I worked hard to do more of what I believed senior leaders wanted me to do, and I kept parts of who I am to myself. Showing up wholly—head, heart, and hands—is what social change leadership requires. Today my being and doing are one and the same.

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Grameen America to Loan $1.3 Billion with New Initiative for Black Women

Grameen America, a non-profit organization providing microloans and financial opportunities to low-income women entrepreneurs, recently announced its new Elevating Black Women Entrepreneurs initiative. By 2030, Grameen America plans to lend $1.3 billion to 80,000 Black women entrepreneurs with this new initiative.

grameen america
Grameen America announced Elevating Black Women Entrepreneurs, a new strategy of lending $1.3 billion to 80,000 Black women entrepreneurs by 2030. (Photo credit: Grameen America)

Based on their track record of over $1.9 billion provided to over 136,000 low-income women already, they’ll reach this new goal and continue leading the way in shifting the racially charged financial situation in the US today. Basically, Grameen America’s Elevating Black Women Entrepreneurs initiative saw the estimated 1.4 million Black women entrepreneurs experiencing “systemic lack of access to affordable credit and capital” and are doing something about it.

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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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New P.E.A.R.L. Pledge Program to Empower Black Women

Pearl Milling Company has launched a multi-year program, P.E.A.R.L. Pledge, to empower black women and girls across the U.S.

P.E.A.R.L. Pledge will award $1M in grants to nonprofit organizations this year to kick-off the launch of the program. (Image credit: Pearl Milling Company)
P.E.A.R.L. Pledge will award $1M in grants to nonprofit organizations this year to kick-off the launch of the program. (Image credit: Pearl Milling Company)

Pearl Milling Company, maker of the 132-year-old pancake mix and syrup products previously found under the Aunt Jemima name, announced its community funding initiative as part of the brand’s commitment to support the Black community. P.E.A.R.L. Pledge is a multi-year program focused on championing the empowerment and success of Black women and girls across the country. In its inaugural year, the brand will award $1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations helping to fulfill this mission.

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