Event Recap: Quotable High Water Women

WSII Managing Director Sherryl Kuhlman and I were pleased to be a part of the incredible gathering that was the High Water Women Symposium last month in New York City.

I originally intended to write a blog post summarizing the event, but quickly decided that quotes from the speakers were definitely worth sharing just as they were. So, here are some of our favorite quotes, with some “color commentary” from us about why we think they are so powerful.

Photo credit: Twitter user, @IAimpactassets
Photo credit: Twitter user, @IAimpactassets

“It’s about making a bigger pie and better lives for all of us, not just for individual women.” – Lisa Hall, W’87

Can we just go ahead use this as our tagline, Lisa? We couldn’t agree more. There is so much great conversation happening in the space of women and girls – efforts to close the pay gap, confidence gap, pitch funding gap, etc. – but our focus in the WSII Investing in Women work is really about using your individual strengths to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide. We all have our role to play in this space, and at WSII, our system-level work can make the biggest impact when focused on the ecosystem shifts we are diligently working towards.

“Flex your power. Think about deep impact, investing and the proper tools & diligence to make a difference.” – Erika Karp, W’85

What is your power, reader? Wherever you are in the ecosystem of our economy – as producer and as consumer – consider your power. Every dollar you spend, as one guest on our Sirius XM show once told us, is a vote cast for the world you want. So think about where your dollar, and thus your power, is being spent and consider how it can make a difference.

“The percentage of clients that have an impact investment and can articulate why it is will have an impact.” – Jackie VanderBrug, when asked what one thing she would evaluate at BAML to assess the state of the industry.

If you want your investments to have an impact, take the time to think about the impact you expect to have. A first step in this direction is to look at where your money is right now and then see if you know the social impact of those investments – good, bad, or ugly. Even having that conversation will create a ripple effect in the impact investing ecosystem, because whoever you are having it with will recognize that, more than ever before, people care about the impact of their investments.

“Take the foundation program people and have them talk to the investment people.” -Laura Kind McKenna

This quote was one of many great moments from the smart, sassy mind of Laura Kind McKenna of the Patricia Kind Foundation: it is incredibly important that the program and the investment groups work closely. Why? Because if they don’t, we run the risk of making the same mistake that has happened in philanthropy time and again: funders asking programs to do, and measure, the wrong things. Bring both sides of the expertise together to determine the most effective, efficient way to invest and assess.

Sandi HuntSandra Maro Hunt, MSOD ’18, serves WSII as the Associate Director of Social Impact. She brings both for-profit and nonprofit experience to this role, where she works with the WSII team and stakeholders to manage and develop existing and new initiatives.