Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresVeronica Colón, executive director of Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I knew how small accomplishments and experiences were leading to big changes. I’ve had quite diverse professional experiences, from a research assistant to prominent investigators at NIH, to executive assistant to a Chairman of an international telecommunications company. There was a point in my career life, where I thought the multidisciplinarity of my background would hurt me in finding the space where I wanted to be, when in reality, it has given me the tools I need for this new endeavor. Our Foundation is relatively new and though it started in a good position, there is still a lot to do to build its presence and continue its growth. Now I have the necessary skills to get us there. Trust the process.
Well, hello my donor activist friends! Welcome to another week of exciting feminist philanthropy news, as well as my weekly discussion of happenings related to gender equality at large.
This week I took a deep excursion into literary culture and read Assembly by Natasha Brown. This novel caught my eye because it was by an author who had a background in financial services and math, yet when I picked up the book and read a few lines, I felt a deep sense of kinship with the words.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers about this book because it’s really a wonderful process to absorb the story without any preconceptions in mind. The story takes a narrative path that I can only describe as an anti-romance, and yet it felt strangely rich and satisfying to me as a reader.
Greetings, Friends! Hope you are all well and enjoying life as best you can. We continue to watch the scene on feminist giving news, and I still receive tons of emails pitching stories for PW. It pains me that I do not have the time to do more writing. I have had to increase my therapy caseload to cover the downsizing of PW, so my time for research and writing is more limited now.
When I get time to come back to PW, one of the things I like to do just to cheer myself up is to take a random stroll through the PW Funder Database. It just makes me feel better about the world to know that funders exist that are putting real dollars into gender equality strategies every day.
Michelob ULTRA has committed $100 million to make its marketing gender-inclusive, with the goal of increasing the visibility of women in sports.
As one of the top selling beer brands in the country, Michelob ULTRA believes that every athlete deserves to experience an equal level of joy in sports. But women’s sports don’t always receive the same level of coverage in the media, which is a critical factor in ensuring that female athletes are paid equally. That’s why Michelob ULTRA is committing $100 million over the next five years to increase visibility for women’s sports through:
Old Navy is setting a new standard for size inclusivity with BODEQUALITY, offering a wider range of sizes than any other value retailer.
Old Navy is revolutionizing the shopping experience with the launch of BODEQUALITY. Beginning on August 20, Old Navy will redefine size inclusion, offering every one of its women’s styles, in every size, with no price difference. As a brand committed to the democracy of style, Old Navy will be the first value retailer to offer sizes 0-30 and XS-4X for all women’s styles at price parity. With this launch, the brand is reimagining the shopping environment in all stores and online to be more size inclusive, giving women everywhere the fashion and experience that they deserve.
The conversation below explores Lerner’s experience as a philanthropist, business leader, and activist entrepreneur, as well as what other funders and company leaders can do to advance an intersectional focus in their approaches to philanthropy.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series featuresShira Ruderman, Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, a private family foundation that invests in three primary areas of focus: advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout our society, strengthening the relationship between Israel and the American Jewish community, and modeling the practice of strategic philanthropy worldwide.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I knew philanthropy is a life journey that you cannot get separated from. I view it like parenthood, you learn as you go. Philanthropy makes you recognize your passions, skills, views on life.
If this last year taught us anything, it’s that qualified healthcare workers are needed now more than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is expected to add 2.4 million new jobs, which is more than any other occupational group. And as we know, healthcare jobs are predominantly held by women, with women representing about 76% of healthcare professionals.
As we recover from the pandemic in America, Goodwill is teaming with the Anthem Foundation to introduce Rising Together and the Goodwill Healthcare CareerLaunch.
The Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc., focuses on funding critical initiates that improve lives and communities. Anthem is committing $750,000 for providing the necessary resources and training needed for individuals interested in working in the healthcare industry. The program is part of the new Rising Together coalition, which gives people support to access healthcare jobs that will lead to sustaining careers.
Spotify, one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing music streaming platforms, believes that music and audio have the power to change the world. As a catalyst for that change, Spotify aims to empower women creators by giving them a place to share their content globally. The company is committed to fostering equity for women and has recently launched two new campaigns, Frequency and EQUAL. These new campaigns will work to amplify the voices of emerging female creators who in the past have been under-appreciated and underrepresented.
Raising the Frequency
Frequency is an extension of Spotify’s ongoing commitment to and investment in Black voices. The new global initiative cultivates a holistic destination for celebrating Black art, entertainment, creativity, culture and community both on and off-platform. Through a rollout of new content, cultural partnerships and an ambassador program, Frequency aims to further connect the Black community to established and emerging Black artists, all while fostering community and appreciating the culture that has made an impact across fashion, tech, business, and music.