Funding Collaborative to Empower Women, Make Workplaces Safe Launched

Funding Collaborative to Empower Women, Make Workplaces Safe Launched

A coalition of philanthropies has announced a new funding collaborative in support of efforts to end sexual harassment and violence against women in the workplace. 

To be housed at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Collaborative Fund for Women's Safety and Dignity aims to support the leadership of low-income women, women of color, and Indigenous and migrant women in the United States and abroad to ensure that all girls and women — cis, transgender, and gender non-conforming — can live, learn, and work with dignity in a safe environment. The collaborative — which includes the FordNoVoOpen SocietyNathan Cummings, and Conrad N. Hilton foundations; the Kapor CenterUnbound PhilanthropyCBS; and three unnamed foundations — plans to award grants totaling at least $5 million annually over the next five years to bolster movement leaders, survivors, culture makers, institutions, and networks working to end sexual harassment and gender-based violence. 

The fund also will invest in efforts to address violence against women and girls in schools, healthcare facilities, and prisons, with a focus on advancing systemic change in the United States, while also working transnationally to ensure a strong link to the global women's movement. Initial goals include supporting policy advocacy focused on prevention, protection, transparency, and accountability; driving narrative culture change by creating an evidence-based communications hub; supporting organizing and civic engagement at scale; seeding and scaling data-driven leadership development programs; and convening field leaders and networks to foster cross-movement peer learning.

According to the collaborative, between 50 percent and 80 percent of women in the United States are sexually harassed at work, with women of color and immigrant women, who often are employed in sectors such as domestic and agricultural work, particularly vulnerable to sexual violence. Yet less than 2 percent of foundation giving in the U.S. is focused on gender-based violence — a longstanding funding gap the collaborative aims to address.

"This fund is inspired by the tireless and brave women who are doing transformative work to end violence against all girls and women, yet have been underresourced for far too long," said NoVo Foundation executive director Pamela Shifman. "We're proud to partner with other funders to help ensure their work has the sustained support it deserves and needs to thrive."

"Sexual violence impacts all women, but the damage is compounded for women who are made vulnerable by our immigration system, by economic exploitation, and by structural racism," said Unbound Philanthropy executive director Taryn Higashi. "We are committed to resourcing an inclusive movement to end gender-based violence, towards our vision of a vibrant, welcoming society where we all can flourish; we uphold human dignity; value our diversity; and embrace our common humanity."

"Leading Philanthropies Announce Funding Collaborative to Build Women’s Power and Ensure Safe Workplaces." Collaborative Fund for Women's Safety and Dignity Press Release 03/14/2019.