Gender Equity

Women who Soar

June 1, 2020  • Institute Staff

In March, Women’s History Month, the Institute announced its first-ever all female fellowship, dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls globally. The inaugural 12 fellows have committed to a variety of bold changes, like investing philanthropy resources in girls of color, stopping the disappearance and murder of Native women across the United States, providing health care to young women in Zimbabwe, and radically changing who receives investment capital. The fellowship is part of the new SOAR Leadership Initiative, a partnership between the Institute’s Forum on Women and Girls and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with additional support from Charlotte Perret and William McLaughlin through the Aspen Institute David T. McLaughlin Leadership Fund. The initiative hosts the SOAR Leadership Series, public conversations with global leaders who have advanced the causes of women and girls, and it provides the public with an online forum and action tool kit. “Even with broken systems, we can win if we change the culture,” said Fatima Goss Graves, the CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, at the fellowship’s launch. The discussion, moderated by ABC News’ Gloria Riviera, also featured author and activist Piper Kerman and former Sodexo executive Rohini Anand. The panel explored how to change systems and cultures, and how to support more women leaders. As Kerman put it, women must “have the audacity to believe what you have to say is important and worth other people hearing.”