How to use crowdfunding to empower women | Women's Agenda

How to use crowdfunding to empower women

When I came to Australia six years ago as a management accountant in the mining industry, I quickly realised that there were a number of strong powerful female leaders but I started to wonder why more weren’t realising their career ambitions.

Facts like the gender pay gap and the tiny percentage of women who hold ASX 500 directorships, underscored the fact women aren’t fully utilised in business.

New to the country and overwhelmed with the variety of cultures I saw, I started interviewing senior women to connect with them, to develop leadership skills and then share the experiences with other women to inspire them to develop their own skills. This was how the online community Leaders in Heels was born.

Always curious about why certain women are more successful than the other, as an analyst, I ran my own research and collected over 200 responses from Leaders in Heels readers about what makes a successful female leader. I cleaned the data and grouped the responses into clusters to realise that there were six common traits that they all used in their life.

They were passionate about what they did which gave them energy to stay long hours or not to give up even when the odds were against them. They were creative in achieving their goals no matter if it was about implementing new products or running effective meetings – they looked for innovative ways of doing things. Passion was giving them confidence to stand up for their beliefs and determination to keep going when things were falling apart. And lastly, they were kind in their actions.

With these traits in mind, I recently launched the Make Your Mark notebook crowd-funding project with a simple goal in mind: to inspire, create and nurture more female leaders.

The MAKE YOUR MARK notebooks have been designed and crafted to encourage and inspire women to follow their passion, to be more creative and innovative in their lives, to feel more confident and determined in their endeavours and to maintain a kind heart while becoming successful. Every page of the notebook has been infused with quotes, thoughts and assignments to stimulate a new way of thinking.

Utilising the crowdfunding platform Start Something Good, which assists social enterprise projects, I launched the project with a goal of raising $8,000 in time for a Christmas print deadline. We are already seeing the success of crowdsourcing and giving our readers and other women interested in the project the power to be a part of something special.

The great thing about crowdsourcing is being able to allow our readers to become a part of the project, they can choose to purchase one of the Make Your Mark notebooks for themselves, to inspire their friends or employees, they can sponsor the project or even join myself and one of my mentors, former CEO of Apple Australia and Founder of Xplore of Success, Diana Ryall, at a special Make Your Mark dinner.

I am so thrilled and excited to see this campaign come to life and see women supporting other women.
Additionally, for every dollar pledged above the tipping point we will donate 15% to support the work of Dress for Success. It is an amazing charity that provides women in need with professional clothing, a network of support, practical skills and mentoring to improve their employability and achieve economic independence. By purchasing the notebook you can be sure that you are giving a gift not just to yourself but also to other women in need.

If you’d like to support the campaign click here.

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