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The evolution of AWDN: Australians Investing in Women

November 25th, 2020

The Australian Women Donors Network has announced a new name: Australians Investing in Women (AIIW) and a new motto: 'empowering giving for a fairer future' aimed at ensuring more Australians have an intentional focus on women and girls in their giving.

The new name and motto was revealed at the 2020 Virtual Gender-wise Event on Tuesday 24 November, which featured a conversation between Chair of AIIW Sam Mostyn, author and journalist Catherine Fox and former Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill.  
 
Chair of AIIW, Sam Mostyn, said the new name represents the organisation’s long-term vision. “If we are to achieve gender equality we will need to pull every lever; being more intentional about bringing women into focus supports smart investment decisions. Philanthropic dollars are limited; it is investments in women and girls that bring the greatest opportunity for social change,” Ms Mostyn said.
 
"As Australians Investing in Women, we are evolving to represent our growing network of women and men, and corporate funders, who understand that investing in women and girls strengthens economies and society as a whole." 

“With our new name, we want to invite all funders and social investors across the country who believe in the importance of empowering women and girls to join us in ensuring a strategic focus on women and girls in the practice of philanthropy and social investment,” Ms Mostyn said.

CEO of AIIW, Julie Reilly, said the new name and motto have been selected for their direct clarification and strategic alignment to the organisation’s ambitious future.

“For more than a decade, the Australian Women Donors Network has advocated for increased investment in women and girls, and for a gender lens across philanthropy, but our name hasn’t accurately expressed who we are or what we do…. and, perhaps it’s confused some people into thinking we only want women to invest in women and girls,” Ms Reilly said.

“Together we can channel our commitment into effective, measurable action by ensuring a intentional focus on women and girls in the practice of philanthropy and social investment. We’re excited to have you beside us as we evolve and rise to meet our potential. Our new name and tagline are just the beginning…”

The announcement of the new name and motto comes at a critical time for investing in women, with the events of 2020 having amplified the criticality of investing in women and girls and advocating and educating to ensure that their needs and circumstances are central to philanthropic practice.

While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has spared few Australians, evidence shows women have borne the brunt of job losses as well as housework and helping children with remote learning.

Recovery plans initiated by the philanthropic sector need to apply a gender lens or risk failing women further according to Jay Weatherill, who now leads Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative.

“If we are to achieve the best possible start to life for children, we must design an early childhood system that works for women who, for the most part, continue to shoulder the majority of caring responsibilities,” said Mr Weatherill.

You can visit AIIW’s new website, learn more about gender-wise giving and download resources at: https://www.aiiw.org.au/

Indigenous Philanthropy Award 2020 recipients

Funder: The Balnaves Foundation

Funding recipient: Guardian Australia

Award partner: Ninti One

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