Women Supporting Women in the United States: 2015 to 2017
From 2015 to 2017, the United States saw several examples of an increase of women supporting other women through movements, marches, and organizational support. Major examples include the promotion of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, increased investments by the Female Founders Fund, the Lean In movement, the 2017 Women's March, the 2016 United State of Women Summit, and the increased work of the League of Women Voters.
Time's Up Legal Defense Fund
One of the most publicized examples of women supporting women in the past few years is the promotion of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, which has the tagline "The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace. It's time to do something about it."
The Time's Up Legal Defense Fund started a GoFundMe page in December 2017, which to date has raised over $21.25 million toward their $22 million goal. Since starting their GoFundMe page, over 1,000 individuals have contacted the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund to speak out about their sexual harassment experiences and be connected to a Time's Up attorney.
Some of the biggest individual donations to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund have come from Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Shonda Rhimes, Melinda Gates, Sandra Bullock, and Jennifer Aniston, who reportedly each donated $500,000. Additionally, Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey each donated $100,000, and Kathleen Kennedy donated $250,000. Katie McGrath, along with her husband J.J. Abrams, donated $1 million to the campaign. Corporations and organizations who donated $100,000 or more include The GoFundMe Team, Calvin Klein, Inc., The Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Foundation, United Talent Agency, ICM Partners, Creative Artists Agency, and Wunderkinder Foundation.
However, the bulk of the donations come from over 17,000 individuals contributing $100 or less.
Some of the most notable donations from male celebrities include Seth Meyers with a $50,000 donation, Gerard Butler with a $10,000 donation, and Edward Norton with a $10,000 donation. Mark Wahlberg and his agency, William Morris Endeavor, also donated a combined $3 million to the campaign.
Female Founders Fund
Female Founders Fund specializes in seed money for female-founded startups. From their founding in 2013 to January 2015, they invested in 8 startups. In 2015, they invested in an additional 8 startups. In 2016, they invested in 10 startups, and in 2017, they invested in 12 startups, including being a lead investor for 3 of those companies; i.e., they have been increasing their support of female startup founders every year.
Their first fund in 2014 was worth a total of $5 million. In 2016, they raised $30 million for their second fund, showing a strong increase the support for their fund during 2015 and 2016.
The Lean In movement encourages women to support one another in the workplace through awareness campaigns, educational resources, and small communities called "circles," where members empower one another to reach career goals.
Since being founded in 2013, they have created 35,000 Lean In Circles in over 160 countries serving over 1.6 million women. 85% of participants have said that joining one of these circles has had a positive impact on their lives. They also have also partnered with over 900 corporations and nonprofits to promote gender equality in the workplace. In early 2015, they reported 21,000 Lean In Circles in 97 countries, which means that from 2015 to today, they have added 14,000 circles and have engaged women in 63 new countries. This organization does not accept private donations, but rather encourages donors to start a circle or become a mentor.
Lean In promotes specific campaigns in order to address workplace inequality. By early 2015, their "Ban Bossy" Youtube video from 2014 featuring celebrities such as Beyonce had 2.5 million views. Today, it has 2.8 million views, which means that it gained an additional 300,000 views in the past two years after its initial launch. Their #LeanInTogether campaign, which was launched in 2015, has been promoted with celebrities such as Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez, Megyn Kelly, Eva Longoria, Abby Wambach, Kerry Washington, Emma Watson, and Serena Williams, and Lean In's partners such as Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube have shared the campaign with hundreds of millions of women.
Hear Our Voice campaign ANd The 2017 Women's March
On January 21, 2017, over 5 million protesters took part in the Women's March on Washington and sister marches in cities around the world. This was the largest coordinated protest in the history of the United States.
In addition to the main march in Washington, D.C., there were 673 other marches that took place in every U.S. state, in 60 other countries, and on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Outside of Washington, some of the largest marches include Los Angeles with 750,000 attendees, New York City with 600,000 attendees, and Boston, Chicago and Denver, which had over 200,000 attendees each.
The Women's March was part of the Hear Our Voice campaign, which included sending Congress hundreds of thousands of postcards and organizing local "Huddles," which were community meetings to talk about local initiatives. Over 100,000 people participated in 4,700 Huddles, which took place in every U.S. state and 40 countries around the world.
2017 was the first year for this march, which is now held annually.
2016 United States of Women Summit
First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey teamed up to host the first United States of Women Summit in June 2016. This event had both live attendees and a streaming audience. They closed registration after hitting the cap of 5,000 tickets sold.
As of today, the live stream of the summit, which was shared by the White House on YouTube, has over 79,000 views.
The 2018 summit will take place in May in Los Angeles, featuring speakers such as Brittany Packnett, Elaine Welteroth, Jane Fonda, Tarana Burke, Valerie Jarrett, Ai-Jen Poo, Eric Garcetti, Tina Tchen, and Shannon Watts.
The League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 as a way to help women understand their new-found right to vote. Today, this nonpartisan organization promotes informed voting and politic leadership among women.
In 2017, the League of Women Voters had a total of $10,361,084 in revenue and support. A year prior, in 2016, the had a total of $7,718,241 in revenue and support, and in 2015, their gross receipts totaled $4,606,789. Their total expenses decreased from $8,190,938 in 2016 to 7,977,402 in 2017.
Currently, they have 700 local leagues, which are located across the country in all 50 states. In 2017, they hosted over 300 voter registration events
Although not the only examples of women supporting women in the last few years, some of the most major examples include the promotion of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, the increased investments by the Female Founders Fund, the Lean In movement, the 2017 Women's March, the 2016 United State of Women Summit, and the increased work of the League of Women Voters.