Supporting Women in Business is Simply Good Business…and Here’s Why
W4W has a dual mission of supporting women in business and enabling businesses to be a greater force for good.
In the U.S., women who are socioeconomically disadvantaged often face insurmountable challenges to participating and progressing in the workforce. There’s a huge need for funding to support these women in business and gain economic independence; however, only 1.2 percent of philanthropic giving goes to women’s issues, and less than 2.5 percent of all venture capital goes to women — even less to women of color. Government funding for women is variable and fails to address their most basic needs.
At the same time, more and more companies, especially women entrepreneurs, are embracing the concept of business as a force for social good. These companies often seek out B Corp Certification and plan charitable corporate giving, as well as employee volunteer opportunities, but want to do it with measurable impact.
At W4W, we bridge that gap by partnering with nonprofits focused on elevating women through business and improving working conditions for women. Our mission also includes:
The end results:
- Women get the support in business and resources they need
- Nonprofits secure resources to meet and expand their missions
- Businesses engage their stakeholders and support measurable impact
- Under-served women are elevated and empowered
- Nonprofits increase their reach and impact
- Businesses know how they are making a difference and see firsthand the benefits of empowering women
- A larger movement is created
- More women enter and stay in the workforce, attaining economic independence.
The sharing of resources has always been a cornerstone of how women in business can help one another; we believe resource-sharing can also be applied to corporate social responsibility.
Working for Women’s approach is in line with a growing trend of companies recognizing the benefits of investing in women and actively supporting women through business. For example, Amy Hall, VP of Social Consciousness at Eileen Fisher, has seen firsthand the benefits of supporting women in business as well as in their personal lives. “Our company has always been about women,” she says. “We help them be their authentic selves, feel more confident.”
Eileen Fisher accomplishes this with programs such as Women Together, which activates the collective wisdom and energy of women for positive change in the world, and The Leadership Institute, focused on helping teenage girls (as well as some boys) get in touch with their inner leader, encouraging them down an empowered path throughout their lives. These investments have tremendous benefits, says Hall, who points to research that found 40 percent of Eileen Fisher customers are willing to support brands that share their values.
Investing in women by giving them an equal voice and equal opportunity is simply good business. It’s only by investing in women today – to help them out of poverty and disenfranchisement – that we can empower the leaders of tomorrow.