Meet the Alumni of Lean Impact for Scale: Women’s Wealth, Pay, and Unpaid Care Gap in the US

We successfully wrapped up a new edition of our training program, Lean Impact for Scale, supporting organizations addressing gender equity in the US.

7 mission-driven organizations took part in our fully-subsidized Lean Impact for Scale Program, an initiative funded by Forward Global and Pivotal Ventures.

This edition of program was specifically aimed at organizations dedicated to addressing Gender Equity issues within the U.S. It was designed to build their scaling strategies and iteratively develop or refine interventions for scale.

Why this focus? Women own only about 32 cents for every dollar of wealth owned by men. In 2022, women’s median weekly earnings were 82.3% that of men. The wage gap is even larger for Black women who are paid 63 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. What’s more, women spend nearly twice as much time on unpaid care and domestic work as men.

These persistent pay gaps and unequal caregiving responsibilities lead to lower lifetime earnings, limited wealth, and financial insecurity for women, which are even more pronounced for Black and Latina women. Such disparities perpetuate cycles of poverty, discrimination, and hinder women’s economic opportunities and wealth-building potential.

The Lean Impact for Scale Program helped organizations to address this issue more effectively at scale. We carefully selected participants for each cohort so that our scale experts can spend time on 1:1 personalized coaching.

Over the course of 10 weeks, they received support to:

  • Define their scale strategy, identifying viable partners and payers.
  • Learn how to de-risk uncertainties by testing with communities, partners, and payers. 
  • Use data-driven insights to improve their strategy.
  • Develop a roadmap for continuous testing and improvement.

Learn more about the selected organizations:

1. Empower Work is changing the lives of historically excluded workers and building more equitable, inclusive workplaces.  They help people thrive, particularly BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+,  ensuring they have the support, information, and resources to navigate complex work challenges – via technology.

Their text line meets workers where they are – on a bus or in a break room – providing coaching and resources like job search tools or unemployment guidance that improves both economic security and mental health, keeping people on paths of opportunity.

By bridging emotional and tactical support to key resources including benefits, they ensure people have holistic support where their financial, emotional, and career needs are met.

2. Family Values @ Work is a national network of 27 state and local coalitions helping spur the growing movement for family-friendly workplace policies such as paid sick days and family leave insurance.

These policies will result in better individual and public health and greater financial security for families, businesses, and the nation.

They have engaged thousands of people affected by the lack of leave and enabled them to see that change is possible and that they are the agents of that change.

3. Girls Who Invest is dedicated to transforming the investment management industry by attracting and advancing women investors, change-makers, and leaders.

There is broad agreement that gender diversity is good for business. However, young women are less aware that a career in investment management can be meaningful and impactful work.

To change this reality, they are creating a pipeline of talented and motivated young people who are prepared to succeed in the industry through intensive educational programs, a meaningful paid internship, and a robust ongoing community.

We are on a path to changing the lives of 3 million vulnerable workers. Being part of the Lean Impact cohort allowed us to dig into important questions and experiment to unlock an even deeper and scaled impact on workers' mental health and economic well-being.

Jaime-Alexis Fowler, Founder and Executive Director at Empower Work

4. New Door Ventures  is an early-intervention employment and education program for Bay Area (San Francisco, California) youth aged 17-24 who are disconnected from work and school.

They work with communities facing systemic racism, structural inequities, and other barriers to economic opportunity.

Their services are focused on the critical transition period between childhood and adulthood when skill development and work readiness become key to lifelong employability and financial independence.

To do so, they prepare the youth by providing the jobs, training, education, and support they need to discover and achieve their potential so that they can transition to independent adulthood.

5. ICA Fund provides coaching, connections, and capital to grow Bay Area (San Francisco, California) businesses and close the gender and racial wealth gap.

People of color, especially women of color, start businesses at higher rates than white people — but they are constrained by structural inequities and often overlooked by mainstream funders.

To face this issue, they partner with, mentor, and invest in underestimated Bay Area entrepreneurs to accelerate great businesses and build an economy that works for all.

6. GirlTrek  is a powerful sisterhood movement among Black women, utilizing walking and self-care to promote healing.It’s more than just a walking group; it’s the largest health movement for Black women in the U.S., aiming to bring health and happiness to millions worldwide while addressing intergenerational trauma and systemic racism.

By encouraging Black women to walk regularly and organizing walking teams, GirlTrek fosters community support and leads a Civil Rights-inspired health movement.

They have proven to be a highly effective public health intervention, with significant benefits including weight loss, reduced depression symptoms, decreased medication usage, and sustained walking habits among its participants.

7. National Domestic Workers Alliance – NDWA works to win respect, recognition, and labor rights and protections for the nearly 2.5 million nannies, housecleaners, and homecare workers who do this essential work.

The majority of domestic workers sit at the center of some of U.S. most decisive issues because of who they are and what they do: they are mostly women of color, immigrants, mothers, and low-wage workers.

They are impacted by almost every policy affecting the future of the U.S. economy, democracy, and country.This organization is working to shift the way care work is understood, valued, and compensated, ensuring that these much-needed jobs are good jobs with dignity, economic security, and opportunities for advancement.

What is Lean Impact?

Lean Impact is designed to maximize social benefit. Its model relies on hypothesis-driven experiments to reduce risk and increase the pace of learning.

It is based on 3 principles:

  • Think Big – set audacious goals and build an engine for growth that will move the needle relative to the size of the problem.
  • Start Small – build the agility to run fast experiments and drive feedback loops that will accelerate your pace of learning and reduce waste of time and money.

Relentlessly Seek Impact, Value, and Scale – identify and track the metrics that matter to increase impact and scale.

Meet the Alumni of Lean Impact for Scale: Women’s Wealth, Pay, and Unpaid Care Gap in the US
Meet the Alumni of Lean Impact for Scale: Women’s Wealth, Pay, and Unpaid Care Gap in the US
Meet the Alumni of Lean Impact for Scale: Women’s Wealth, Pay, and Unpaid Care Gap in the US
Meet the Alumni of Lean Impact for Scale: Women’s Wealth, Pay, and Unpaid Care Gap in the US
Meet the Alumni of Lean Impact for Scale: Women’s Wealth, Pay, and Unpaid Care Gap in the US
Meet the Alumni of Lean Impact for Scale: Women’s Wealth, Pay, and Unpaid Care Gap in the US
Meet the Alumni of Lean Impact for Scale: Women’s Wealth, Pay, and Unpaid Care Gap in the US
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