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Tell us about yourself and your philanthropy journey. What drives your giving and leaders?

I lived in rural Kenya with a mother, Grace, and her two daughters (four and two at the time), and continue to support them with small monthly cash transfers almost 20 years later. When I first started doing this, the messaging at the time was “you’re giving them a fish” instead of a fishing rod. I intuitively knew that Grace would know exactly how to use this small amount of money to take care of her family. She worried less about being able to provide for her children’s basic needs, created a small business selling vegetables, and both of her daughters graduated from high school.

Grace exemplifies what we know to be true – more often than not, when we invest in women, they will do what needs to be done to transform the lives of their families and communities for the better.
I am a leadership & executive coach and family dynamics expert working in the area of family wealth and impact. I am also a trauma psychologist, former humanitarian aid worker, and next-generation family member. My mom taught me at a young age that with great power comes great responsibility, and this message has been the constant thread woven throughout my life, career, and family. As a family of investors and philanthropists, we have always focused on moving resources through gender and values lenses.

I have seen what intentional leadership development and family dynamics work can do to support individuals and families to be empowered in their wealth and position of influence. I experienced it in my own family, and was inspired to help other impact-driven families of wealth do the work to integrate wealth into their identity, ensure wealth facilitates values-aligned living and family connection, and to move money toward adding meaning in the world. As a result, I founded my company Northbound Consulting.

Seeing women step into their identity as a leader of their own life, in their family, and in their community is what inspires me every day. Being part of a collective of women who then take this leadership to support less privileged women and girls to do the same, is a privilege.

What inspired you to make your membership commitment? What do you want to say to others who are considering a bold investment in women and girls?

I believe that when women come together, our impact is exponential. We energize each other, and are wired to collaborate and get things done. The WMM community inspires me to step into my full potential. As someone who is typically in the role of facilitator, connecting women with each other, I was excited to find a place where I can focus on my own leadership development, learning journey, and identity as a philanthropist.

To others considering a bold investment in women and girls: We can only go so far alone. When we harness the collective power of women in positions of influence, we can go all the way.

How will this bold investment help us realize a gender equal world? What impact do you hope to have?

Women like Grace are the changemakers who know how to achieve goals while keeping the entire community in mind. Investing boldly in impactful changemakers is the most meaningful way to experience the changes we want to see in the world.

I believe it starts with us. I want to be in community with women who are invested in themselves – who acknowledge they are uniquely positioned to lead their lives, families, and communities into the next chapter, and living fully in their leadership potential. The powerful ripple effect then extends to women and girls who do not have the resources to invest in themselves. The greatest systemic change happens when empowerment occurs at both of these levels.

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Vivian Long
Part of having a vision for a gender equal world is acknowledging the harsh and sometimes unseen reality of violence against women, and equipping people with the tools to thoughtfully respond and navigate tangible outcomes in a survivor-centric way.

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Together we can do more.

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equal world.

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