Happy International Women’s Day 2018!

Women have made great strides in the pursuit of gender equality over the last few decades, but we still have a long way to go.

The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Gender Gap Report tells us that gender parity is over 200 years away!

I don’t know about you, but I’m not that patient. I want to see parity in my lifetime.

That’s why I’m so passionate about empowering my clients and followers to discover their natural strengths and talents, harness their inner power, and step boldly into their dream lives.

This year’s IWD theme is #PressforProgress. There has never been a more important time to keep working toward equality.

On the heels of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, IWD has the power to fuel momentum for women everywhere to stand up and take action.

Are you ready to be the change we all want to see?

Check out this list of my favorite organizations who are making a difference for women everywhere.

1. Plan International: Plan International is one of my favorite organizations. They are a development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

Plan International works with communities to foster vital changes that tackle the root causes of discrimination against girls. They drive change in community policy and practice with the mission that “every girl and boy has the right to be healthy, educated, protected, valued and respected in their own community and beyond.”

Plan International believes that “girls have the power to change the world. Our ambition is to work beside them and together we take action so 100 million girls learn, lead, decide and thrive.”

Their “Because I Am A Girl” campaign empowers girls to take the lead and influence decisions that matter to them, like ending violence against women, child marriage, and creating safer cities. You can support them by sponsoring a child, joining the Because I Am A Girl Campaign or donating to an Emergency Appeals Fund.

2. Kiva: Kiva is a nonprofit with the mission to connect people through small business lending to eliminate poverty. By lending as little as $25, you can help a woman start or grow her own business, go to school, or access clean energy.

Kiva is not a donation; all loans are paid back in full with zero interest. Kiva believes that loans are about making connections and building relationships. “When a Kiva loan enables someone to grow a business and create opportunity for themselves, it creates opportunities for others as well. That ripple effect can shape the future for a family or an entire community.” You can support women from around the world with a variety of different businesses.

3. V-Day: V-Day is an international nonprofit aimed at raising awareness of and ending violence against women. V-Day has also opened the first women’s shelters in Egypt and Iraq, participated in the Afghan Women’s Summit, and helped found Karama, a program connecting local women’s organizations and other civil society groups in several Middle Eastern and African countries.

V-Day also stages large-scale benefits and produces innovative gatherings, films and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against women. You can get involved by organizing a production of The Vagina Monologues, or by donating directly to V-Day.

4. Women for Women International: Women for Women International is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 462,000 marginalized women in 8 countries impacted by war and conflict by “offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.”

The organization provides a year-long business training and education on health and women’s rights. Graduates of the business training receive critical skills, financial support and strong networks to start and grow their own local businesses.

You can get involved by donating $35 a month to support a woman through the yearlong business program, by becoming an Ambassador, or by shopping on Amazon Smile.

5. Accenture: Accenture is the largest global tech consulting firm, and a company whose research and insights I’ve followed for some time. Their latest research, Getting to Equal, “brings encouraging and actionable news about equality in the workplace.”

The research highlights 40 factors that are statistically shown to influence women’s advancement in organizations, including 14 factors that are most likely to effect change. They encourage companies to publicly announce goals for #gettingtoequal, with their own goal of achieving a gender-balanced workforce by 2025. Tune in to their live all-day broadcast and download the report here.

The Takeaway

Get involved. Speak up. Ask for a raise. Find a job where diversity is valued. Lend to a women-owned business. Lift each other up. Encourage. Support. Empower.

We’re all in this together.

Ready and energized to make a difference in the life of women everywhere, but you’re not sure where to begin? Download my FREE BE Alive Passion + Purpose Workbook. It’ll inspire you to think creatively about how you can maximize your impact in the world.

Want to highlight a women-centered organization you follow or love to support? Share it in the comments!

Originally published at www.brightspacecoaching.com