Women’s funds and foundations around the world are adding their names to our collective statement in support of our country’s female elected officials of color. These signatories represent millions of dollars in grantmaking for gender equity per year, and this statement represents our unity in standing up for all women who serve in government and in other arenas.
Beth Kanter, acclaimed author and non-profit thought leader, will speak at WFN’s upcoming Leadership for a Changing World conference this fall in San Francisco. We caught up with her to hear a little more about her thoughts on gender equity and the unique challenges female leaders face.
At our conference this fall, you will lead a session on how female leaders can be healthier and happier. How do you think the challenges women leaders face differ from those of their male counterparts? The World Health Organization has recently classified workplace burnout as an illness, in order to call attention to the negative impact of work-related stress that impacts everyone—no matter their gender. While both men and women can suffer from burnout due to toxic workplace culture, it seems to affect women at higher rates (according to a recent study from Montreal University).
Women’s work does not end with their day job and they often end up being responsible for the majority of family or household “life” duties, including meal preparation, cleaning, and caring for kids, among other tasks. “Personal” time often becomes “work time.” The challenge for women, who are natural caretakers, is to balance relaxation time with family responsibilities and their professional work.
In my workshop, I’ll be covering the symptoms of burnout so women are aware of this, but also how to craft a self-care that is the antidote to burnout.
Women’s Funding Network Chief Strategist Marcia Coné is passionate about the Two-Generation (2Gen) Approach to breaking the cycle of poverty for women and their families. Here, she talks about WFN’s efforts to support its members in implementing the 2Gen philosophy and theoretical framework, as well as the work of the 2Gen Advocacy Cohort and their recent wins.
What is a 2Gen Approach?
When we think about poverty, programs are typically targeted to the needs of different members within the family. For example, you might have a child in a Head Start Program, while the parent is getting job training. This is helpful, but the 2Gen approach—which was developed by the Aspen Institute—looks at ways of addressing the family as a whole system and meeting their individual needs simultaneously, through multi-generational programming and policies. Two-generation approaches draw from findings that the well-being of parents is crucial to their children’s well-being and conversely, parents’ ability to succeed in school and in the workplace is substantially affected by how well their children are doing.
The Women’s Funding Network’s biennual conference is more than a collection of workshops, panels, and keynote addresses. Women Funded is a unique event because of the people we get in the room. When funders and advocates of gender equity come together, powerful collaborations begin and real change begins to happen.
The Gender Breakfast, a monthly gathering of gender professionals and advocates in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an example of such collaboration. Shruthi Jayaram and Lucina Di Meco met at Women Funded 2017 and decided that, together, they would create and host the Gender Breakfast series. These meetings are a chance for gender professionals to network and have a themed discussion led by an expert. To learn more about how Women Funded inspired this initiative, we went straight to the source and talked to Shruthi and Lucina.
Photo: Lucina Di Meco and Shruthi Jayaram
Tell us more about yourselves and what brought you to Women Funded 2017.
Lucina:I’m a senior gender equality expert and women’s rights advocate, currently serving as Director of Girls’ Education at Room to Read and Global Fellow at The Wilson Center. Having just moved to San Francisco from the East Coast, I was thrilled to attend a conference and get to know like-minded professionals in Bay Area! That conference ended up being for me quite momentous, as I met Shruthi there. Right away, we started talking about our shared yearning for a community of gender equality experts in the Bay Area. A few weeks later, we co-founded The Gender Breakfast.
Shruthi: I’m a Senior Project Manager at Dalberg Advisors, a strategy consulting firm dedicated to global justice and social impact. At Dalberg, I advise clients and develop strategies to increase women’s economic empowerment and shift deep-seated gendered norms and attitudes (e.g., around women’s role in the home and in caregiving). I moved to San Francisco in 2017 and like Lucina, came to WFN 2017 to meet like-minded gender equality advocates.
We recently sat down with Women’s Funding Network President & CEO Cynthia Nimmo to hear more about the organization’s upcoming Women Funded 2019: Leadership for a Changing World conference, which will take place in San Francisco, September 11-13.
In our monthly series, Women’s Funding Network Corporate Spotlight, we take a deeper look at corporations making strides in advancing gender equity, women’s economic security, and women’s leadership. From increasing the number of women on corporate boards and C-level positions to releasing company-wide pay data, committing to transparency in reporting workplace sexual harassment and contributing to the increase of philanthropic funding to women and girls globally, we strive to spotlight those in the private sector who are moving the needle to a more equitable world. Our hope is that this list calls attention to organizations who are accelerating momentum both in their own workforce as well as outside of it in order to inspire change in others.
Our intention is to recognize efforts and initiatives led by companies who create impact. We monitor and rely on data and reports originally released by Bloomberg, Forbes, Equileap and many others.
The companies featured this month have either successfully closed their wage gap or are taking dedicated steps and initiatives to close their wage gaps.