“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb.
One of my most prized possessions is my first edition hard cover copy of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” by Nic Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. The book is about the hardships that women are facing around the world, but ends up being a surprisingly uplifting read, because it demonstrates how women can overcome obstacles to create a new future for themselves. Ultimately, Half the Sky is a story of hope.
In 2009, when the book came out, I was working as the Global Growth Coordinator for the Chevron Women’s Network, an internal diversity network at the global energy company, Chevron. That year we purchased several hundred copies of ‘Half the Sky’ for our local members in Perth as our end-of-year gift, asking them to pass along the copy to a friend, once they had read it. I have given copies of the book to friends and they have had a similar experience: After reading, I was left asking, “How can I help? How can I be a part of making this world a better place for our daughters, sisters and mothers?”
As a result, I became involved in several of the organisations recommended in the pages of Half the Sky, including Save the Children, Kiva and Care, but I had also been looking a movement based in Perth that was aligned with the causes I was passionate about, so that I could be connected to my giving on a personal level, meet with likeminded people, create connections and pool our combined donations to make a bigger difference. I felt like it was time to stop going it alone, so in 2013 I started to explore the idea of starting a giving circle, a concept that was mentioned in Half the Sky.
I had been investigating the concept for a few months on my own when I saw that Alicia Curtis had posted an update on her LinkedIn profile, asking for people who might be interested in founding a giving circle. I couldn’t respond fast enough to offer my time and see this vision become a reality.
I have been amazed at what each member of our relatively small group of dedicated volunteers has been able to accomplish in the space of a few short months, in getting 100 Women to a point where we will be ready to launch in the first quarter of 2014.
If these causes resonate with you, if you share the vision of 100 Women, if you want to lift the level of conversation in Western Australia about local and global issues affecting women, then this is the group for you. Join us, if you want to make a difference in the world, and together we will go far.
I am really looking forward to meeting you!
– Michelle Slater