United Way of the Bay Area

The Power of Women

Posted on April 4, 2011, by United Way in Uncategorized

Last Thursday, on the last day of Women's History month, a group of powerful Bay Area women were making a little history of their own. More than 50 extraordinary women leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds came together to inform the creation of a women's leadership group dedicated to United Way's goal of cutting poverty in half in the Bay Area by 2020.

The energy in the room was palpable as the women explored how an enthusiastic, dedicated group of females with deep networks could best harness their collective efforts to empower Bay Area families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet.

The group identified two parallel goals:

1) Create profound, positive community impact through philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy.

2) Create meaningful opportunities for women to engage with one another and to grow personally and professionally.

Financial stability for women and their families emerged as the place to start, with an initial focus on supporting United Way's Sparkpoint Centers. SparkPoint Centers are one-stop financial education centers that bring together a full range of services to help families move out of poverty.

One participant challenged the group to “blow the lid off of Sparkpoint”! Others echoed that sentiment, pledging to roll up their sleeves to fundraise, volunteer and champion United Way's anti-poverty work.

In our next meeting, we will officially launch our women's leadership initiative and hit the ground running. We will hear from experts in our identified areas of interest, adopt a focus and objectives, develop strategies, and create an action plan for moving forward.

Thank you to all the amazing women who attended last week's forum and to the many others who could not attend, but who have been working with us individually to help shape this initiative.

Add your voice to this effort! If you are interested in learning more about this group or attending our founding meeting, please contact Shani Ahearn at (415) 808-4338 or via email at

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