Why organisations should consider applying a gender lens to granting
Statistically, women and girls are more likely than men to experience discrimination, poverty, violence and lower levels of average pay. This is why it’s important for organisations to start taking gender into account when they consider philanthropic granting.
Jodi Kennedy, General Manager, Charitable Trusts and Philanthropy at Equity Trustees, believes that for some philanthropic organisations, this type of decision-making is becoming embedded into their organisational way of thinking and operating.
“Applying a gender lens in favour of women ensures the relevant organisation or foundation takes responsibility as a funder, for addressing inequities and changing underlying systems that compound marginalisation and oppression,” said Kennedy.
For example, in the past financial year, Equity Trustees granted around $1.5 million to programs solely targeting the unique needs of women and girls via a dedicated process,” says Kennedy.
“We’re focussed on implementing the gender framework recommended by Australians Investing in Women, a not-for profit gender advocate, to ensure our granting leads to positive social change and a better, fairer society for everyone.”
Australians Investing in Women (AIIW) is a leading not-for-profit organisation that advocates for Gender-wise philanthropy and is passionate about encouraging all Australians – particularly philanthropic, corporate, and community leaders – to apply a gender lens to their giving in order to increase investment in women and girls. They believe this will help to create a fairer and more inclusive society.
Some of the practical ways organisations can become more gender-conscious include talking about gender with stakeholders, bringing gender into the granting discussions and application process, and funding specific programs that will effect change.
Data is helpful
If it’s possible companies should also collect gender-wise grant-related data which they then learn from and tailor. This has the potential to influence future granting by elevating the needs of women and girls, deepening their commitment to creating sustainable social change.
Ms Kennedy says the Phyllis Conner Memorial Trust managed by Equity Trustees, is an example of how the team successfully implemented a gender lens in philanthropic giving. A recent project funded by the Trust supports single mothers across Victoria to reengage in the workforce – helping them to secure basic human rights such as financial and personal security, affordable housing and flexible working arrangements.
“Our objective is to take our philanthropic partners on the gender-wise journey with us, but at the same time consider the differing needs and circumstances of all people,” said Kennedy.
According to AIIW, investing in women and girls has a proven multiplier effect, with benefits flowing to family and community. Women are often key to leading social change and investing in women and girls can accelerate progress on a range of social issues.
As manager and trustee of more than 600 charitable trusts, Equity Trustees is a leading source of philanthropic funding in Australia. More about Philanthropy at Equity Trustees available online.