Yes, it’s that time of year when your inbox fills up with annual appeals and Giving Day requests. This year, I implore you to invest in women and girls.
While issues affecting women and girls have received increased attention in recent years, charitable giving to organizations addressing these issues remains extremely low. Less than two percent of all U.S. charitable funding goes towards efforts concerning gender equality, with most directed at reproductive health.
Yet with a relatively small investment, you can help change the game for women and girls.
We’re all aware that gender norms emerge early and that stereotypes plague our culture and workplaces. Women are underrepresented in our government and in positions of power and leadership. To change the game, we need investment and action. Mentorship. Sponsorship. Being intentional about hiring and promoting female talent. Calling out gender bias and microaggressions in the workplace.
At LiveGirl, we believe that preparing girls and young women to be confident, inclusive leaders is the key to a better tomorrow. We believe in meeting girls where they’re at, especially by providing additional support as they continue to navigate the pandemic’s toll on education, mental health, and early career development. We believe that all girls deserve the opportunity to realize their futures as leaders.
Since 2014, we have reached over 14,000 girls and helped launch them on brighter paths. Shaindy Weiss, a first-generation college student, is a shining example of what’s possible. She turned her SHE WORKS internship at Boeing into a full-time position, and shared, “I simply wouldn’t have had this opportunity without LiveGirl.”
This is what fuels us: disrupting systems that have held back women and girls for far too long.
LiveGirl develops transformative leaders with a strong sense of agency. Leaders ready to have brave conversations across differences. Leaders ready to make change.
Our free-of-charge programs range from our middle school Confidence Clubs, which create a safe space for girls at a crucial developmental stage in their lives, to SHE WORKS, our career-readiness and internship program for college-aged women. From preteen to young adult, we equip young women with the skills, mentors, role models, and experiences necessary to thrive and gain social mobility. We also advocate loudly for policies and practices that open doors for women and girls, because we won’t progress until the systemic barriers are removed.
Let’s take a big step forward for gender equality together.
Giving to women and girls inspires widespread societal change. We must all commit to doing what we can, and with your investment this Giving Day, we’ll move one step closer.
Sheri West is a former management executive turned social entrepreneur with over 25 years of corporate and leadership development experience. She founded LiveGirl in 2014 to pay it forward to the next generation of diverse female leaders.