Women have gained so much ground over the past fifty years that it can often seem that they’ve arrived at a place of equal opportunity.
Today, less than five percent of the world’s heads of state are women, and women make up just nineteen percent of representatives in parliaments worldwide. Despite producing more than forty percent of the world’s food, women own less than one percent of the world’s farmland.
At a speech before the U.N. last year, President Obama challenged heads of state to break down the economic and political barriers to women’s equality. Responding to this call, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the Equal Futures Partnership, a coalition of countries committed to removing barriers to political participation and economic advancement of women in their respective countries. The U.S. announced a number of commitments to further the goals of the partnership, and key among them was advancing women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
A handful of private sector organizations whose work highlights how the U.S. is advancing its commitment to this mission were asked by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to participate in the Equal Futures Partnership. Amongst these select organizations, Causecast was invited to join the Partnership because of its ability to quickly launch cause campaigns and make it easy for corporations to engage their employees around cause. At the New York launch of the Partnership on September 24th, Causecast was honored to be one of approximately 10 private sector partners invited to the standing-room only event, which drew together founding members and distinguished diplomats from 12 other countries.
Causecast’s goal with its involvement with the Equal Futures Partnership is to make it easy for clients to support girls and STEM-related organizations through their employee giving and volunteering programs.
How does Causecast do this?
When it comes to girls and STEM, or any cause for that matter, the interest and willingness to help are in abundance. In short supply are the time and resources needed to set up, manage, and track meaningful opportunities to get involved.
This is where Causecast provides its secret sauce. The company’s technology and services offering removes, to the greatest extent possible, the transaction costs associated with these efforts. Our platform makes it easy to provide information about meaningful ways to get involved – be it through volunteer events, donations (monetary or in-kind) or fundraising. We have both a mobile and desktop offering so that employees may access the platform in the way that works best for them, and our concierge service works to find innovative nonprofits with sterling reputations for employee efforts to support. CTEq’s STEMWorks database serves as an ideal source of information for these efforts, and has helped Causecast to launch a ready-made campaign for the Partnership called GIT Inspired!, supporting girls in technology and STEM fields. The campaign is available to any company that uses the Community Impact Platform, and Causecast will be working with its clients to adopt or develop initiatives that make the most sense for their organizations.
Causecast’s VP of Product, Kate Stahnke, chairs the Employee Engagement committee for CTEq, and is also the point person for Causecast’s involvement with White House’s Equal Futures Partnership. “I’m excited on a number of levels that Causecast is committed to girls and STEM,” notes Kate. “As a senior technology executive, I’m keenly aware of how the shortage of girls in STEM affects the shortage of technical talent as a whole in this country. As a STEMinist, I strongly believe that STEM skills afford women an opportunity to create rich professional lives. As an American, I believe that advancing economic opportunity and political participation of women is among the most efficient ways to ensure our long term peace and prosperity. And as a Causecast employee, I’m proud to work for a company willing to commit significant resources to this cause – by way of its involvement with Change The Equation and now with the Equal Futures Partnership. That sense of excitement and pride is exactly what our platform works to foster in the employees of our clients.”
At the launch of the Equal Futures Partnership, a general theme of the event – echoed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – was that the efforts of the founding countries weren’t just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. This thinking perfectly summarizes why Causecast’s involvement with the partnership benefits all of its constituents: the girls it hopes to support in STEM learning; the companies it hopes to galvanize towards unique corporate philanthropy and employee engagement efforts; and the employees of these companies whom it hopes to rally around the issue of STEM education.