Today, female leaders today are perceived to be more effective at taking initiative, demonstrating integrity and honesty and working for results than are their male counterparts, according to a survey from leadership consultancy Zenger Folkman.
Given this avowed power female leaders have, it may be timely to celebrate some of the women making an impact in the nonprofit sector.
Certainly, issues like the lack of access to education and healthcare have existed for decades, even centuries, but progress is possible through new ideas and the willingness to implement them. Those ideas and their implementation are coming from the women behind the organizations listed below.
These leaders are taking risks and innovating; they’re game-changers within their respective causes. And their entrepreneurial spirit is pushing them to not just ideate, but take action — as well as tackle historic problems using new solutions.
Under their leadership, these organizations are inciting significant changes, like creating the world’s largest sports movement for people with intellectual disabilities, and bringing surgical care to thousands of people in underserved communities. Driven by their founders’ desire to see results, social change is coming from the following ten organizations:
1. Movemeant Foundation
At the Movemeant Foundation, Jenny Gaither is changing the way women perceive their own bodies. After becoming a SoulCycle instructor in 2010, she faced the uncomfortable truth that she herself struggled with body-image issues. Her personal struggles inspired her to start the Movemeant Foundation, which empowers young women to feel confident in their bodies by equipping them with the tools to be active.
Through positive mentorship, health education and grants that encourage fitness and physical movement, the organization is shifting women’s focus from “slimming down” to discovering their strength and self-esteem. In addition, Movemeant events raise large-scale awareness for positive body images. Its flagship outdoor event, “Dare to Bare,” and other projects are empowering women to feel confident, whole and capable of anything.
2. Women for Women International
Women for Women International (WfWI) supports marginalized women in countries affected by conflict and war. Since 1993, the organization has served nearly 429,000 women, by equipping them with life, business and vocational skills. With these tools, women can earn income, improve their health and well-being and learn about their legal rights to create a sustainable difference in their own lives and the lives of those around them.
The organization was founded by 23-year-old Zainab Salbi, an Iraqi-American humanitarian and entrepreneur. Under her leadership, from 1993 to 2011, WfWI grew to distribute more than $118 million in aid and loans to women in eight conflict locations. Among other accolades, Salbi has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (2007) and a Clinton Global Initiative Leader (2010).
Jennifer Windsor is now WfWI’s CEO and leads 550 staff members across 11 international offices, working to empower women to strengthen themselves, their families and, ultimately, their communities.
3. Keep A Breast Foundation
When her friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, Shaney Jo Darden committed to raise awareness for the cause through art and creative-action sports culture. Her efforts resulted in the Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB), an organization that provides young people with breast cancer education and support.
The organization is setting out to achieve its mission through art, education, awareness and action. From hosting traveling education booths at music tours, to promoting fundraising through its DIY Action program, the organization provides multiple channels for people to learn and play a part in the mission.
Continue onto Entrepreneur to read the complete list.