Melinda Gates is my hero.
She is not only investing her money in gender equality issues — she is raising the topic to the highest levels of debate. She is not only asking tough questions — she won’t rest until solutions are implemented.
In her recent editorial in Time Magazine, she said this:
Here’s what keeps me up at night: I imagine waking up one morning to find that the country has moved on. That the media has stopped reporting on systemic inequalities. That diversity remains something companies talk about instead of prioritizing. That all of this energy and attention has amounted to a temporary swell instead of a sea change…
That’s why, over the next ten years, I am committing $1 billion to expanding women’s power and influence in the United States.
I want to see more women in the position to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives. I believe that women’s potential is worth investing in—and the people and organizations working to improve women’s lives are, too.
While Melinda Gates is talking about all aspects of American life — political, economic, and social systems — my call is to the nonprofit sector. How will you respond?
For far too long, the nonprofit sector has had more women than men working in the trenches as educators, social workers, advocates, and organizers, but far fewer in positions of power.
An article on gender diversity in nonprofits by Dorothy Guerrero shares that women make up more than 75% of the workforce in some US nonprofit sectors, but if the organization’s operating budget was more than $50 million, only 18% had a female CEO. And the 2017 Leading with Intent study by BoardSource found that while 72% of chief executives were female, only 42% of board chairs were female.
How often have we heard the excuses?
“She doesn’t have the skills or the experience.” “She has children at home and can’t balance the demands or she doesn’t yet have children and that means a maternity leave.” “She has gaps in her resume.” “She doesn’t have certain credentials.” “She is good at internal operations not external relationships.” “She’s isn’t visionary enough.” She… fill in the damn blank.
How will your organization answer the call to create the social change that Melinda Gates is driving?
Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO