Five Things I Learned from the Women’s Fund

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At Inspire, we encourage professional development through continued learning and provide regular lunch and learns for our team. Many times, these opportunities are conducted internally, and we learn from one of our peers about the latest trends in social media, tips to hone our media relations skills, crisis communications best practices, or any other number of topics. Other times, we will bring in external guests who share their expertise.

We recently had a lunch and learn (virtual, of course!) with Kelly Griesmer, president and CEO of The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, to learn more about the organization, women’s issues in central Ohio and the intersections of gender and race in our community. When I say that Kelley was a phenomenal guest, that is an understatement! Her passion for the work of The Women’s Fund and our community is nothing short of inspiring.

Here are five key takeaways I learned:

  1. Women start to lose confidence and begin limiting their dreams at the age of eight whether that is because of education systems, parents, gender norms and/or racial prejudices. This is one of the No. 1 challenges that The Women’s Fund is trying to break through their grantmaking.
  2. The Women’s Fund tries to be a very different kind of funder that is more interested in courageous capital and taking thoughtful risks as opposed to just making donations or just making grants that are used more as a barrier in the end than as a ladder to the future.
  3. The Women’s Fund worked on a report in 2018-2019 to better understand pay equity and wealth. They learned that across the country and in central Ohio a single woman owns $0.40 to the $1.00 that a single male owns, and when they looked at the intersection of gender and race, they learned that a single black woman owns $0.02 to the $1.00 that a single male owns. These women are fighting a system that refuses to help them.
  4. The Women’s Fund plans to continue this research to see how COVID-19 has impacted this data for the worst. They know that the pandemic has impacted women much more than men. Kelley noted that because of the pandemic, about 20 years of advances for women in the workforce have been erased.
  5. The Women’s Fund will continue to get their courage capital out into the community this fall through their annual grantmaking program. They are calling upon volunteer grant readers to play a role in directing dollars to drive economic empowerment and leadership for women and girls.

For more information about The Women’s Fund, visit womensfundcentralohio.org.