We envision a future where all people, regardless of their gender identity, are given the opportunities and access to the resources they need to achieve the best possible outcomes for themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.
We believe that achieving Gender Parity– the state or condition of being equal, especially regarding status, education, or pay–is a worthy goal. However, we understand, and reality has shown us all time and time again, that getting there requires adopting an “equity” or fairness lens to our work. You do not have to look any further than to the global COVID-19 pandemic to see this principle in action. In 2020, women were forced out of the workforce in droves as schools and daycares shut down and forced millions of women to stay home to care for and home school children. For those who were not able to work remotely, but had a wage-earning male partner, because of traditional gender roles and the persistent pay gap, the choice was most often for the men to stay employed. For many single women without the ability to work remotely, there was often no choice at all. They stayed home, sought assistance from friends and family, local charities, and ultimately government sources. Millions are still unemployed and the prospect for returning to work hinges on beating the pandemic through vaccinations and the reopening of daycare and schools. Pay equity has been set back by decades. COVID-19 did not discriminate, it merely highlighted what we already know.
When they have fair opportunities and access to resources, women of all backgrounds take advantage of them and thrive. Women often surpass their male counterparts in whatever they set their minds to, but leaving competitiveness aside, study after study has shown that when women succeed, everyone succeeds–men and boys, communities, and the economy. We do not take sides on gender, but we recognize the inherent structural and systemic barriers to success for those who identify as women and girls, and we want them removed, now!
As a relatively new focus area for The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, we have not spent as much time on or granted as many dollars to the issue of Gender Parity, however, we began this work after our shift to initiatives and away from programs. As a result, we have selected some very exciting and impactful areas to fund.
Some examples of our Gender Parity grantmaking are in the entertainment industry through ReFrame, an initiative to encourage the film and television industry to create gender-balanced productions by employing more women and female identified directors, lead actors, and behind-the-camera workers; and through the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative which uses research, advocacy and action to create a more inclusive ecosystem for content creators and audiences. We worked with Girl Scouts USA to launch Fair Play, Equal Pay encouraging their top vendors and other likeminded corporations to achieve 30% women leadership by 2030. We supported The 19th News, a new nonprofit, open-source media outlet for creating and sharing news about the intersection of gender, politics, and policy. We engaged with Lift Our Voices, spearheaded by unique messengers Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky, as they advocate for the banning of forced arbitration and nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) from employment contracts that prevent millions of women from speaking out on harassment in the workplace and have the potential to end promising careers. And we have encouraged men and boys to become part of the solution through investing in the Intergenerational Healthy Masculinity initiative in Southern Arizona.
We invite you as supporters of Gender Parity to explore these and other efforts highlighted on our site to see if they might fit into your own personal or organizational philanthropic goals.