At IDEO.org, we’re lucky to learn alongside badass women every day. Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, we want to give you a chance to meet some of the partners we’ve worked with over the past few years. Since we’ve been exploring what it means to be bold as a studio, we decided to extend the invitation. We wanted to know who and/or what inspires these women to be bold and shake up the status quo.
We hope their examples embolden you.
“Boldness, for me, is my grandmother's ability to resist occupation through telling us stories of her village in Palestine 60 years after she was forced to leave it.”
As the Senior Officer of the Girls Center at Mercy Corps, Ayah spends most of her time consulting and working with adolescent girls to ensure that the programming is led by those very girls. Nothing makes her as happy as words and culture, both reading and documenting them. Her dream is to become a Palestinian old lady who roams the world singing Palestinian melodies.
“Margaret Cullen. She is not famous, but is famous in my own life as a family friend, and mentor. She is the most loving, faithful, strong-willed and determined human woman I know. Her actions go before her words in how she serves, how she loves, and how she decided where to put her time and energy.”
Christie is a Managing Director at Opportunity Dallas, a nonprofit on a mission to promote greater economic mobility and prosperity by tackling concentrated poverty and segregation through a comprehensive approach to mixed-income housing. She has spent the duration of her career focused on collective impact and community-building, providing a voice for communities that have been neglected for decades. She has worked across several sectors, developing relationships with state and local leaders, businesses, civic organizations and neighborhood advocates, realigning their focuses to create synergy in both their missions and visions.
“I have the privilege of working with Marie Stopes Ladies, trained nurses and midwives who work tirelessly in their communities to ensure women have access to quality family planning and safe abortion services. What is bold about the Marie Stopes Ladies, and what impresses me most, is their passion and commitment to helping women, in particular the most vulnerable, overcome stigma and barriers to take control of their reproductive future.”
With a background in both research and social and behavior change communications, Georgina is currently the Senior Regional Evidence Manager with Marie Stopes International.
“Lucy Banda Sichone is a lawyer and human rights activist, a great daughter of the nation, a Rhodes Scholar, and pioneer of the women rights movement in Zambia. In 1997, former president Kenneth Kaunda was shot at by the police while attempting to address a rally in the town of Kabwe, Zambia. Many were arrested and injured during the fracas that ensued. Lucy Sichone snuck into the international airport and confronted the current president with a placard which read “Welcome to Zambia, Our Own Sharpeville Massacre”. This was in reference to the Sharpeville Massacre incident in South Africa in 1960. Needless to say that the president was not pleased.”
Inonge is committed to being a conduit for girls who traditionally haven’t had access to the right reproductive health options. As Marie Stopes Zambia’s Youth Advisor, she gathers evidence to inform programing, reduces the policy barriers to accessing contraception, and provides technical support to develop innovative solutions that help girls take charge of their sexual health and own their future.
“I’m still in awe of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. Women showed up and stood up for our rights – huge crowd – not fake news.”
Jennifer Ware is a 10-year CEO, 26-year mom, and 29-year wife. She’s passionate about helping women make their lives better. Jennifer is the CEO of WiNGS, a nonprofit organization committed to helping Dallas women overcome poverty by building their confidence and skills.
“I am in awe of the transformational SUN Movement that SHOFCO has built with partners in Kenya. Their bold vision unites nine urban slums to discuss and organize residents and communities to control and shape their futures. I am excited to be a part of Girl Effect, an organization that also harnesses the power of community to provide girls with choices and tools to shape their own paths.”
Jessica is an internationally recognized social entrepreneur, the CEO of Girl Effect, a New York Times bestselling author, and the co-founder and board member of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). She is a wife to Kennedy Odede, mom to Hillary, Oscar and Clifford, and a believer in girl power.
“I just finished reading Empress Orchid by Anchee Min—she is definitely a new heroine for me. I am humbled by women who come from challenging beginnings, see an opportunity, and despite the odds, push through to greatness. They make me strong. It is totally the story of my grandmother who left the racist Jim Crow South to make a better home for her children. And my mother who as a teenage mother from the inner city in an abusive relationship pulled herself up and out to become a leader in city government and provide her children opportunities she never imagined. Badass women are all around us. They encourage me every day. Oh, and I forgot to add, this is the badass woman I am listening to this International Women's Day.”
Latanya Mapp Frett’s lifelong mission is to fight for the human rights of women. She will be beginning her role as President and CEO of Global Fund for Women on July 1st, 2019. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Prior to this, Latanya worked for 8 years as a human rights officer for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and for 10 years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“I admire my fellow immigrant community. In the face of constant threats, attacks, and inequities; immigrants respond boldly with relentless drive, innovation, creative problem-solving, and love.”
Lucy is the Director of MEDA’s Asset Building Programs which offers services in financial capability and taxes, business development, workforce development, and housing opportunities. MEDA, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco’s Mission District, works to strengthen low-and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.
“I was blown away when I learned that there are more than 700,000 nuns all around the world living their lives side by side with the people they serve. They work in some of the most forgotten corners, fearlessly advocating for the most marginalized among us. And they do it with so much love, respect and humility. It’s been beyond inspiring to work with them (and our friends at IDEO.org) to co-create the Color Movement to amplify their work in El Salvador and beyond.”
Sarah is the Chief Operating Officer at American Refugee Committee (soon to be renamed “Alight”). For 15 years, Sarah has pushed doors open to let a world of amazing people co-create a better kind of humanitarianism. She believes in bravely being better and is most proud of co-creations like I AM A STAR, Asili, Kuja Kuja, and now, the Color Movement.