Hello Q Invites You To Meet The #Breadwinners
The Future of Innovation is Equality /// #TheBreadwinnersProject
On Friday August 26th, Women’s Equality Day, my humble innovation company, Hello Q, launched The #Breadwinners Project, an initiative that began as a campaign focused on celebrating inspiring examples of female breadwinners, who now account for almost half of household breadwinners in the U.S. What started as a passion project is now a mission.
The #Breadwinner Project’s scope is two-fold:
1. Research & Insights: We need to more deeply understand the unmet needs of female #breadwinners. When the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 results came in, PEW discovered within the raw data that 40% of households with children under the age of 18 are headed by women. Beyond the initial research into that data, we find we know very little about this population in terms of psychographics and their needs, challenges and barriers. Traditional market segmentation of women tends to skip over this significant factor: that more and more of us are primarily or solely responsible for bringing home the bacon. We believe understanding this aspect of women’s lives is critical for navigating the changing cultural and economic landscape.
2. Strategic Inclusion Design & Equality As Innovation Imperative: We aim to focus our organizational innovation work on helping to inform and shape policies and solutions that drive opportunity and inclusion for women in the workforce — now and in the future. There’s an infrastructure of support for women, particularly mothers who may be the sole or primary breadwinner, that needs to be created at every level — from public policy to private sector initiatives and everywhere in between. We launched The Breadwinners Project to help create that infrastructure in partnership with public and private organizations.
“This is not a ‘women’s issue.’ Its an everyone issue. It is an economic issue. A moral issue. An innovation issue. An issue of un-tapped talent, creativity and immense knowledge capital.”
The issues of #equalpay / the #paygap, opportunities for workforce participation, maternity / paternity leave policies, childcare solutions, access to leadership roles and financing for female entrepreneurs (to name a few) become even more pronounced and imperative when we consider that not only is this now about the power and stability of the American “head of household,” but that we could add almost $4 trillion to our GDP by creating equal opportunities and closing the pay gap for women in the U.S. ($12 trillion globally according to McKinsey’s Power of Parity report). This is not a “women’s issue.” Its an everyone issue. This is an economic issue. A moral issue. An innovation issue. An issue of un-tapped talent, creativity and immense knowledge capital.
One thing is clear, there is much to be done. As one Alia Zaharudin, #Breadwinner and VP of Corporate Strategy & Operations at Rubicon Project offered this key insight:
“Until the Breadwinners Project, I hadn’t thought of myself as a ‘breadwinner.’ My career provides me with a sense of fulfillment and I enjoy working. Now I’m more aware and appreciative of other female breadwinners at work and in my social circles. I’m shocked by how low my sense of awareness was, despite reading books like Lean In and running a professional womens’ network in LA where many members are breadwinners. I’ve learned that men use ‘I’m a breadwinner’ to negotiate compensation whereas I do not know a single woman who has used that as leverage.”
“I’ve learned that men use ‘I’m a breadwinner’ to negotiate compensation whereas I do not know a single woman who has used that as leverage.”
And another thing…
#Equality & #Diversity is an #Innovation Issue
The #Breadwinners campaign and the launch of The Breadwinners Project is part of both my personal and professional mission to drive systemic innovation for the betterment of all.
My background in innovation and founding Hello Q has led me to one conclusion: our relentless pursuit of innovation (a pursuit that is my life’s motivation) will only be to the benefit of all if it becomes an inclusive endeavor where diverse groups of people can have a seat at the table. Innovation requires a foundational shift in context — a context of equality and inclusion. We cannot solve our biggest challenges without first solving for inequality. This is our first step. Without this foundation our march towards innovation becomes stunted when vast amounts of intellectual and creative capital goes ignored, underleveraged and silenced.
“Our relentless pursuit of innovation …will only be to the benefit of all if it becomes an inclusive endeavor where diverse groups of people can have a seat at the table.”
I am motivated by intersectional solutions and outcomes, by women helping women, by inviting men to sit at the table with us to find solutions and by driving forward change that betters us all. The highest wave floats all the boats — and as women working together, we can be that wave. The #Breadwinners Project is just getting started.
“The highest wave floats all the boats — and as women working together, we can be that wave.”
Are you or someone you know a #female #breadwinners? Take 6.5 minutes to take the #Breadwinner Project Survey!