Targeting women and girls to fuel community prosperity
Ending gender inequality is not just the right thing to do; it’s a well-researched fact that empowered women and girls fuel economic growth and prosperity, leading to a more sustainable future. We spoke to two APS clients, Janice White of the White Family Philanthropic Fund and Hamish Corlett of the TDM Foundation to talk about why their philanthropic giving supports women and girls.
"I saw how some people lived and what was needed. In my experience, disadvantage hits women and children the hardest; they seem to be more vulnerable. In my way, I’m trying to set the balance right."
For Janice White, a 20-year career in occupational therapy and counselling allowed her to experience disadvantage in the community through her client caseload, especially during home visits to see her patients. “I saw how some people lived and what was needed. In my experience, disadvantage hits women and children the hardest; they seem to be more vulnerable. In my way, I’m trying to set the balance right.”
Taking an organic approach to selecting the organisations she will support, Janice keeps an eye out for smaller organisations, who may need her donation as a bonus. Zephyr Education Inc, a new organisation to Janice’s home state of WA, struck a chord. Helping children who have fled family violence get back to school with new school uniforms and essential supplies, Zephyr helped more than 2800 children last year.
“I can imagine it’s a huge relief to a mother who has had to leave her home and most likely put her children in a new school, to help them to transition with the right gear and so that they don’t stand out. I’m not interested in gushing thank yous, but Zephyr sent me a receipt and a thank you, with an itemised list of what my donation had helped to provide like uniforms, calculators and so on. I like that they’re switched on.”
"Everyone needs to be proactive in combatting gender inequality. Addressing the structural disadvantage that women and girls face around the world is not just the right thing to do, it leads to better outcomes for everyone."
Hamish Corlett is co-founder and partner of global investment firm TDM Growth Partners. Their official charitable arm, the TDM Foundation, donates no less than 1% of the business’s profits annually. Hamish and his team focus their giving on what they’re passionate about and are using their expertise and resources to help tackle gender diversity in the finance industry through a partnership with Sydney University. “Finance has a critical role to play in the world economy, and we know that by promoting a more diverse finance sector, the better results we will get. There’s a power in diversity. We’re taking a grassroots approach by helping young people to understand business and finance from first principles. We hope that our partnership with Sydney Uni will be the first of many.”
The TDM Foundation also provides financial support for Assistance Beyond Crisis (ABC), an ACT-based microfinance organisation which supports people who have escaped domestic violence situations to re-establish their lives. “Our investment philosophy in both the for-profit and not-for-profit world is the same; to back people and organisations that make us proud. ABC combines everything we believe in. Their work has a lasting impact on the people they work with.”
Both Janice and Hamish reflected on how supporting women and girls is not just a ‘women’s issue’.
“Look into your heart,” urged Janice. “See what aspect of life for women and girls touches you most. Is it adolescents, or women’s health, for example? Take it from your heart and find your focus, then springboard from there.”
“Everyone needs to be proactive in combatting gender inequality,” said Hamish. “Addressing the structural disadvantage that women and girls face around the world is not just the right thing to do, it leads to better outcomes for everyone.”