Forget #WomensHistoryMonth. We celebrate the accomplishments of women every week - Generocity Philly

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Mar. 6, 2020 2:22 pm

Forget #WomensHistoryMonth. We celebrate the accomplishments of women every week

This month we turn the spotlight on women in leadership throughout the nonprofit and social impact sector in Philadelphia.

(Courtesy photos; Generocity graphic)

In March our inbox fills with stats centered on women.

Wallethub, for example, sent us a ranking of the worst and best states for women gauged along two main axes — economic & social well-being (which includes markers like: earnings, unemployment, share of women-owned businesses, etc.) and women’s health and safety (which includes markers like: life expectancy at birth, uninsured rate, behavioral risk factors, etc. ).

Pennsylvania’s overall ranking isn’t great (28th out of  51); New Jersey is significantly better at 17th, and Delaware tops the tri-state area at 11th.

It is interesting to note that both Delaware and New Jersey make it into the “top ten” if you look at a single axis — in Delaware’s case, it has the 7th best ranking along economic and social well-being lines, while New Jersey ranks 6th along health and safety lines. Alas, Pennsylvania stays near or in the bottom half of the ranking on each axes: we rank 23rd when considering women’s health and safety, and 34th when considering women’s economic and social well-being.

Another inbox communication informs me that, 25 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action set out a 12-point global agenda for women’s empowerment, a U.N. report reveals that “the world’s maternal mortality ratio remains too high, only 1 in 4 seats are held by women in national parliaments, and everywhere, women aged 25 to 34 are 25 percent more likely than men to live in extreme poverty.”

Download the U.N. report

And while we might be tempted to think that those are global issues but not particularly Philadelphia ones, we need to remember that nearly two-thirds of poor households in our city are headed by women; we’re just barely avoiding a maternal care crisis, and only four of 18 (22%) of our US. congressional representatives are women.

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In the nonprofit sector, a 2019  report by the Women’s Nonprofit Leadership Initiative and the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University noted that at the boards of the top Eds-and-Meds in the city women, on average, constitute a scant 33% and 28% (respectively) of board members.

But what all those stats and all those emails in our inboxes can’t convey is what an honor it is for us, week-in and week-out, to meet women who defy all of the challenging odds. We love bringing you stories about women who are achieving amazing things in the Philadelphia area. This month we’ll be focusing on Women in Leadership.

Monday look for a story about the very accomplished Cecily Bradford and Kathy Meck, and their work at Families Forward Philadelphia, the city’s largest family shelter. It is written by Erin Flynn Jay — another woman of accomplishmentwho just joined our extraordinary corps of dedicated freelancers. We can’t wait for you to read it.

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Know a woman we haven’t yet written about yet that you’d like to see celebrated during our Women in Leadership month? Let us know who they are! We welcome pitches for your profiles to run as guest columns, or just give their name, tell us what they do and the reason you think they would be a worthy addition to the Women in Leadership list we are compiling.

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