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.
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.
A new report from the Feminist Humanitarian Network has found a drastic decrease in funding for women in the Global South.
The Feminist Humanitarian Network released new findings and recommendations from its “Women’s Humanitarian Voices: Covid-19 through a feminist lens” report examining the role of Women’s Rights Organizations (WROs) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The report shows the solutions WROs established to overcome funding challenges that worsened for organisations representing women and girls in the Global South, and illustrates the patriarchal humanitarian and government systems WROs operate within that continue to exclude them from decision-making in crisis response and recovery planning. The report brings together key learnings from research in eight countries – Liberia, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Lebanon, Palestine, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
So many things. There isn’t enough room. I wish I had known that it was going to be a long and winding road and that, looking back, it would all make sense and would be so much fun!
2. What is your current greatest professional challenge?
My greatest professional challenge is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to engage with all of the wonderful teams doing amazing work to advance our communities, both for profit and not for profit. We are constantly trying to think about balancing strategic long-term initiatives with short-term needs, given that this pandemic has illuminated so many deep issues around economic and health disparities.
Rise celebrates the announcement of a new United Nations General Assembly Resolution to protect survivors of sexual assault.
During the State Opening of Parliament address in Freetown on 18 May 2021 H.E. President Julius Maada Bio announced Sierra Leone will become the Lead Facilitator of a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution on access to justice for survivors of sexual violence.
Sexual violence is a universal issue that demands international recognition. According to the World Health Organization, 35% of women worldwide – 1.3 billion people – are sexual violence survivors. However, the United Nations General Assembly has never passed a resolution focused solely on protections for sexual violence survivors. Around the world, people are demanding recognition and justice for survivors who are denied basic rights and access to information and justice.
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.
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.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Sharon Shapiro, Trustee and Community Liaison at the Ruderman Family Foundation.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I had known that philanthropy is a process and that there’s a strategy to giving. Growing up in a family that was highly philanthropic, we really didn’t talk about my parents’ giving and what it meant to them. We saw examples, but it wasn’t really spoken about in the house. Today, I try to teach my kids about philanthropy in a strategic way.
2. What is your current greatest professional challenge?
We’re divvying up our traditional yearlong Super Subscriptions into monthly support options: our new Monthly Super Subscriptions provide the same benefits of an annual Super Subscription at a price point more easily accessible for NGOs (and their budget committees!).
The Biden Harris Administration recently released a statement analyzing how the American Jobs Plan will positively impact women’s employment.
Beginning with an acknowledgement of how the last year saw 3.7 million less women working, the Biden Harris administration recently released a statement discussing their efforts to fight against this trend. Since the onset of COVID, many women have taken on more difficult job conditions, while also being responsible for caregiving responsibilities. Discrimination and hardships plague women, especially women of color, as they try to participate in the workforce. Covid-19 has made this situation even worse, and solving this is key to economic recovery.
The question has to be asked: is high net worth divorce good for women’s philanthropy?
The way I see it as a gender lens publisher, every day that new information comes out about divorced billionaire men and how badly they treated women is a good day for women’s philanthropy. And every time I see a new headline about Bill Gates and his difficulties with women, I get a distinct feeling we might soon see a new wave of women’s rage philanthropy, directed by Melinda Gates and a cadre of other feminist donors who have had enough of the bullshit.
I saw people online saying they were worried about the Gates children in all of this. But their children are young adults now. In my experience, young adults are often the first to suggest to miserable parents that they consider divorce. You might just imagine one of the Gates children saying one day, “Mom (or Dad): We’re the richest people in the world. Why are you living in miserable confinement in your relationship?”
As well as being a gender lens publisher and a social worker practicing for over 25 years, I too have been a survivor of sexual assault. Mine was of a particularly insidious kind, all wrapped up in academia. In the process of applying to graduate school for my Masters in Fine Arts for Creative Writing, I got sexually assaulted. Not kidding.
Now, some 28 years later, with the perpetrator deceased, I am telling my story. But I still can’t tell it completely because my perpetrator was particularly unstable. He had been hospitalized multiple times for suicidality. He could go from complimenting you to abusing you in the blink of an eye. And he was particularly known for filing lawsuits, should anyone suggest he had problems with women. Given all of that, even with the perpetrator dead, it still isn’t safe to say his name. That’s the patriarchy for you. Even with the dominating male writer no longer among us, we still can’t talk about him safely.