Author Archives: Women's Giving Circle

How the Meritocracy Myth Affects Women in Technology

From Utah Public Radio, author Elise Hu sheds light on the disparity of women in science and technology. Females account for just 6% of the CEOs of top tech companies and only 8% of all venture-backed startup founders.

Some have suggested that Silicon Valley is a meritocracy, where the best and the brightest rise to the top, regardless of gender, race, wealth, or background. In fact, startup founders typically come from a very specific caste: white males from Stanford, Harvard or MIT.

“If the people solving tech problems are mainly white, male and privileged, then what problems aren’t they solving? Should one of the most influential forces of the global economy be driven by only the perspectives of a certain slice of our population?”

Read the full article here.

USA Today: Olympics Lacks Parity for Female Athletes

This article from Maura Grogan, a former Olympic competitor, highlights the distance we’ve come since the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924, and how much further we need to go:

“While the Sochi Games offer the most opportunities for women of any Winter Olympics yet, there still is not parity: 14 of 15 sports include competition for women; Nordic combined, in which athletes compete in both cross-country skiing and ski jumping, remains the only holdout. Of the 93 individual events in Sochi, 43 are for women while 50 are for men.”

Read the full article here.

Huffington Post: Utah’s Other No. 1 Ranking: Gender Pay Gap

Local author, Donna McAleer, highlights how Utah women, especially those in Utah and Davis Counties, continue to face gender discrimination with the worst gender pay gaps in the nation.

“We Utahns are proud of our economic growth, and rightly so. Nationally we rank as the ‘Best State for Business and Careers’ by Forbes magazine, three years running; the Kaufman Foundation acknowledges Utah number one for ‘Economic Dynamism,’ Pollina Corporate lists Utah as the top pro-business state, and the U.S. Chamber of Enterprising States ranks Utah third in STEM job growth and business birth rate and 1st in high tech business economy. But, and here’s the embarrassing paradox, according to a recent 24/7 Wall Street article when it comes to equal pay in the state, women are paid an average of 70 percent of what men are paid. What’s most embarrassing is that Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield rank No. 1 and No. 2 respectively as the worst-paying cities for women.”

Read the full article here.

McGillis School hosts screening of Ready to Fly

ready to flyThe McGillis School, a private nonprofit located in downtown Salt Lake City, is hosting a screening of Ready to Fly, an inspirational look at three young women in their journey for the right to compete in the Winter Olympics.

“This documentary follows 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van and the Women’s Ski Jumping USA team as they fight to make their Olympic dreams come true. This powerful true story tells a tale of sacrifice and determination, of pluck and tragedy, as a very special group of unlikely heroes triumphs over massive obstacles to achieve a dream and change the world.
To prove that women deserve to compete at the highest level: in the Winter Olympics.”

The screening is free, suitable for ages 10 and up, and includes a Q&A with the Director, William A. Kerig.

Monday, February 3, 2014
6:30 P.M.
The McGillis School
668 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84102

Questions?
Contact The McGillis School at 801.583.0094

A big thanks to member Kerry Steward for sharing!

Utah Women’s Giving Circle Grants $20,000 to Empower Women and Girls in Utah

2013 Grantees PictureWe are excited to announce our third round of grants!

Formed in 2011 to empower women in Utah and grow possibilities for Utah girls, our members leverage small, individual donations into high impact grants, investing in Utah programs decided by member vote.

On Tuesday evening, our members voted to distribute $20,000 across five nonprofit organizations:

  • Volunteers of America’s Young Women’s Transition Program, a 7-bed home for homeless young women, ages 16-19, with a focus on self-sufficiency through school, employment, and housing.
  • Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake’s Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Programs, which provide free legal representation for victims seeking a protective order as well as expedited support with divorce and custody cases.
  • People Helping People, an organization that lifts children out of poverty by teaching low-income women how to earn a living wage through education and mentoring.
  • Women of the World, an organization that builds women-to-women networks for refugees living in Utah, teaching practical English, finance, health, and job skills.
  • Girls on the Run Utah, an organization building self-esteem and confidence among girls in the 3rd-8th grades through a creative running program with volunteer mentors.

“It is an amazing experience to witness women come together to collectively make a decision to positively impact other women” commented Stewart Ralphs, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake.

Kayleen Simmons, Giving Circle member and Executive Director of People Helping People, added, “Truly, when women come together, we can change the world.”

For Girls on the Run, the funding translates to 25 full scholarships for underserved girls at Title I schools. The program combines a new pair of running shoes with afterschool training leading up to a 5K in June, ultimately creating opportunities for personal growth, strong female role modeling, and enhanced self-esteem.

Kathy Bray, Executive Director of Volunteers of America, Utah, expressed how timely the grant award is for, “The program supports young homeless women whose lives have been very difficult and we are committed to continuing it, despite a recent $13,000 federal cut in funding.”

Similarly, the grant awarded to Women of the World will have an immediate impact, funding a computer workstation and services teaching refugee women how to translate their unique skills into a resume and conduct a job search, supporting one of the organization’s focuses of financial empowerment for 300+ women from all over the world.

The Utah Women’s Giving Circle has raised more than $70,000 in annual and endowed funds since its inception in January 2011, investing more than $50,000 back into the community through nonprofit organizations. Prior awards have been made to the American Association of University Women’s e-Smart STEM Camp for girls, Early Head Start at Horizonte, the Girl Scouts of Utah’s Camp CEO, Planned Parenthood’s Teen Success Program, the YWCA Choices for Women Program, and Global Artisans, a refugee self-sufficiency program.