Women Who Code, Create, & Change the World: LIFE is Celebrating Women in the Humanitarian Aid Sector
This blog will pay tribute to all the fantastic women out there who are breaking down barriers, shattering glass ceilings, and making their mark on the world. We are sharing some of the incredible contributions of women in the not-for-profit sector. Get ready to be inspired, uplifted, and maybe even a little bit humbled by the incredible achievements of these women. The impact of women's involvement in the not-for-profit sector cannot be overstated. Women-led organizations have been shown to be more effective in achieving their goals, particularly in advancing gender equality and addressing issues that disproportionately affect women and girls. Fostering support and development programs for women can increase access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities and help break the cycle of poverty in communities.
According to a report by the Women's Philanthropy Institute, women are more likely than men to give to charity and are more likely to volunteer their time. Women also hold a higher percentage of leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector, with 75% of nonprofit employees being women and 50% of nonprofit CEOs being women.
In the not-for-profit sector, there are women right now making significant contributions, working to improve the lives of others and create positive social change. Their tireless efforts and dedication have led to transformative results. Let’s take a closer look at some of the women making waves in the nonprofit sector right now.
Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. Saujani founded the organization in 2012 with the goal of providing young girls with the skills and opportunities they need to pursue careers in the tech industry. Through a variety of initiatives, such as coding clubs, summer immersion programs, and college scholarships, Girls Who Code has reached thousands of girls across the United States. Saujani has been a leading advocate for women in technology, and her work has been recognized by various organizations and media outlets, including Time Magazine, Forbes, and the Harvard Kennedy School. She is also a sought-after speaker and author, with her books including "Brave, Not Perfect" and "Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World."
Karen Cahn is a trailblazing entrepreneur who has dedicated herself to empowering and supporting women in their entrepreneurial ventures. In 2016, Cahn founded ifundwomen, a crowdfunding platform that focuses exclusively on funding female-led businesses. Cahn recognized the funding gap that exists for women entrepreneurs, who receive just a fraction of the venture capital investment that men receive. With ifundwomen, Cahn aims to address this disparity and provide women with the resources they need to succeed. The platform offers coaching, mentorship, and access to a community of successful female business owners. Cahn's commitment to gender equality and tireless efforts to support women-led businesses have profoundly impacted countless women entrepreneurs. Her organization has inspired many to pursue their dreams and make their mark in business.
At the helm of the Black Moms Connection organization is the visionary Tanya Hayles, a creative storyteller, and award-winning event planner. The organization started as a tight-knit group of 12 women in Toronto, determined to carve out a safe space where culturally relevant questions could be asked and answered. Over time, this grassroots community has grown to over 16,000 members online, with branches spanning multiple cities in North America and Asia. As a registered non-profit, Black Moms Connection provides culturally relevant tools and resources to empower and educate Black women. These include workshops on special needs education and financial literacy, aiming to improve black families' social, emotional, financial, and overall well-being.
Days for Girls is a non-profit organization founded by Celeste Mergens in 2008 with a mission to provide sustainable menstrual care solutions and education to girls and women worldwide. The organization focuses on addressing the taboo surrounding menstruation and the lack of access to menstrual care products that can limit a woman's ability to go to school or work. Celeste Mergens was inspired to start Days for Girls after volunteering in an orphanage in Kenya. She saw first-hand the impact of lack of access to menstrual care on girls' education and opportunities. Today, Days for Girls has reached over 1.5 million women and girls in 144 countries, providing them with menstrual care products, education, and training. Through Mergens' leadership, Days for Girls has become a globally recognized organization that is empowering women and girls to achieve their full potential.
The contributions of women in the not-for-profit sector are nothing short of extraordinary. They have led the way in advancing gender equality, empowering women and girls, and addressing social issues that affect us all. From Reshma Saujani's work with Girls Who Code, Karen Cahn's efforts to support women entrepreneurs with ifundwomen, and Tanya Hayles' creation of Black Moms Connection to Celeste Mergens' Days for Girls, these women have made a profound impact on countless lives. As we celebrate International Women's Week, let us honor and recognize the incredible achievements of these women and all the women out there who continue to break barriers and make the world a better place.
Women's Philanthropy Institute. (2019). Women and Giving: The Impact of Generation and Gender on Philanthropy. Retrieved from https://instituteforwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Women-and-Giving-2019.pdf
UN Women. (2015). Facts and Figures: Leadership and Political Participation. Retrieved from https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/library/publications/2015/factsheet-leadership-2015-en.pdf?la=en&vs=1059
Nobel Prize. (n.d.). Jane Addams - Biographical. Retrieved from https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1931/addams/biographical/
Meyer, Deborah. "Why Female CEOs Thrive In Nonprofits." Forbes, 24 April 2015, https://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2015/04/24/why-female-ceos-thrive-in-nonprofits/?sh=29d67ce25335.
"About Us." Days for Girls International, www.daysforgirls.org/pages/about-us.
O'Neill, Lauren. "Sistering’s Patricia O’Connell is helping homeless women take control of their lives." The Globe and Mail, 2 Nov. 2018, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-sisterings-patricia-oconnell-is-helping-homeless-women-take-control/.
“Ten Women-Led Not-for-Profit Organizations That Could Use Your Support.” Women of Influence, 19 Nov. 2021, https://www.womenofinfluence.ca/2021/11/19/ten-women-led-not-for-profit-organizations-that-could-use-your-support/.
Saujani, R. (2019). Brave, not perfect: Fear less, fail more, and live bolder. Currency.
Saujani, R. (2017). Girls Who Code: Learn to code and change the world. Penguin.
"Reshma Saujani." Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/reshma-saujani
"Reshma Saujani." Forbes, Forbes Magazine, www.forbes.com/profile/reshma-saujani/?sh=1b9388ff1557