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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How Has COVID-19 Affected Women in the Global South?

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 has released a new report viewing the COVID-19 pandemic through a gender lens. (Image credit: Feminist Humanitarian Network)
The Feminist Humanitarian Network has released a new report viewing the COVID-19 pandemic through a gender lens. (Image credit: Feminist Humanitarian Network)

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.

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Nicole Small: Supporting STEM Women with the IF/THEN Initiative

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Nicole Small, CEO of Lyda Hill Philanthropies.

Nicole Small, courtesy of Nicole Small
  1. 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. 

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Rise Welcomes Revolutionary UN Resolution to Protect Survivors

Rise celebrates the announcement of a new United Nations General Assembly Resolution to protect survivors of sexual assault.

Rise is a survivor-led international organization dedicated to protecting and empowering survivors worldwide. (Image credit: Rise)
Rise is a survivor-led international organization dedicated to protecting and empowering survivors worldwide. (Image credit: Rise)

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. 

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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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Sharon Shapiro on Growing New Dimensions with Your Giving Quest

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.

sharon shapiro
Sharon Shapiro is the Trustee and Community Liaison at the Ruderman Family Foundation. (Image Credit: Ruderman Family Foundation)

2. What is your current greatest professional challenge?

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*NEW!* Monthly Super Subscribers: Support PW, Spread Your Message

Philanthropy Women needs your help! To reach our funding goals for 2021, we’re offering a new sponsorship method: ultimate benefits for a fraction of the cost.

Can you believe we’re almost halfway through 2021? Here at Philanthropy Women, this year has been a whirlwind. With so much to cover and so little time to do it, we’re opening the gates for a brand new sponsorship option for Philanthropy Women readers.

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!).

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How The American Jobs Act Strengthens Women in Society

The Biden Harris Administration recently released a statement analyzing how the American Jobs Plan will positively impact women’s employment. 

President Biden and Vice President Harris (Image Credit: uisjournal.com)

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. 

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Is High Net Worth Divorce Good for Women’s Philanthropy?

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.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Building at Carnegie Mellon University (Photo by Jonathan Speek on Unsplash)

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?”

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Surviving Sexual Assault to Become a Social Worker and Publisher

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.

The Recommendation is a short animated film that discusses sexual assault in academia and ways to address the problem. (Image credit: The Recommendation)

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.

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