By Beth Kanter, Chief Advocacy & Strategic Communications Officer
For many women, March symbolizes more than just a month of observance. It’s a time where women across all industries and geographies celebrate the achievements of their peers and colleagues today and take a critical look at the opportunities they’re creating for young women just entering the workforce. It’s also a chance for us to celebrate the historic achievements of the pioneering women that came before us. At Omidyar Network, we’re constantly working to create a culture and world where all women have equitable access to the systems and powers that govern our daily lives.
Like many, I was inspired to do this work by the first woman in my life — my mother. My commitment to social justice was developed while watching her work as a special education teacher for more than 30 years. As an educator, she worked passionately to support and empower students who were often marginalized because of their race, class, or learning abilities. As an active member of her union, she understood why it was critical for people to have power and voice in the workplace. She taught me the importance of being engaged in my community and how to live my values and support my community through politics — one of my first memories is stuffing envelopes for our neighbor who was running for the Montgomery County Council and reading her NOW newsletter.
After her sudden death in 2000, I’ve always wondered what she would think of some of the unfortunate events the country has endured over the years. Part of me is relieved that she did not have to witness the horrors of 9/11, the recession, and the pandemic. On the other hand, I think she would have been amazed to see the remarkable women who have trailblazed their way through the world by challenging the status quo, reimaging what’s possible, and ensuring equality for the leaders of the future. My mom, along with other women before me, would have beamed with pride to bear witness to the accomplishments of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and most recently, Vice President Kamala Harris.
I am constantly awed and inspired by the incredible women grantees we work with at Omidyar Network who are shaping a new inclusive economy, ensuring a responsible tech ecosystem, and positively impacting our society. We have the honor to work with a powerhouse team of women leaders such as:
- Ifeoma Ozoma with Earthseed who’s taking on the role of Big Tech as a brave whistleblower at Pinterest, holding the company to account for racial bias and inequality;
- Lisa Donner from Americans for Financial Reform who’s working to reimagine our economic system by way of representation and ensuring equality; and
- Solana Rice from Liberation in a Generation who’s providing equitable access to communities for meaningful social change.
Click here for a look at how we’ve highlighted our grantees for our Women’s History Month campaign!
I feel an obligation and a great sense of joy to carry out the legacy built by these women, my mother, and many others, through the work Omidyar Network does every day. We’re committed to showing up for each other and addressing all instances of biases and inequality. I see so much of what my mother believed in and stood for in Omidyar Network’s mission and through our phenomenal team of women grantees, including: