Jacki Zehner’s Mission to Mobilize Unprecedented Resources for Women and Girls

“We have this crazy and audacious mission, which is to mobilize unprecedented resources for the advancement of women and girls.”

About This Episode

Jacki Zehner is a community builder. Through Women Moving Millions, she, along with a group of 300 women, have provided more than 1 billion dollars in funding for the causes that impact women and girls around the world. As one of today’s most influential voices on women, money and changing the world, Jacki reframes the notion of power to be inclusive, collaborative and empowering. 

About Jacki Zehner

Jacki Zehner has been recognized as one of the 50 most powerful women in U.S. philanthropy, dedicating her time and resources toward the advancement of women and girls. She’s the founding president of Women Moving Millions- the largest philanthropic network in the world, of women funding women.

Prior to her philanthropic focus, Jacki was a Partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, where she was the youngest woman, and the first female trader, to make partner. As the President of the Jacqueline and Gregory Zehner Foundation, Jacki funds and champions a wide variety of projects and organizations, with a particular focus on women’s rights, women’s entrepreneurship, philanthropic movement building and social issue media. In addition to her work with Women Moving Millions, Jacki serves on a number of boards and advisory communities, and is an active writer, speaker and consultant on topics relating to women and wealth, philanthropy and leadership. She has been recognized for her leadership with many awards, including being named to the 2015 and 2016 Economist Global Diversity List, as a Top 50 Diversity Figure in Public Life and has been profiled for MAKERS.

In her words…

“Women supporting women leaders surrounds everything we do.”

“I trace that “Ah-hah” moment back to personally realizing that my future was not in my hands, but in the hands of someone who was treating me differently because I was female and in a highly inappropriate way, and that my destiny was not mine and the reason it was not mine, in this particular situation, was because of being female. So that really ignited me.”

“I feel like my whole world is circling around this core concept of what it means to be in community with one another. And by ‘community’ I mean surrounded and part of something bigger than yourself, sharing values with people for which you have responsibility and they have responsibility back to you, to support each other in what’s right.”

“If we do not support each other and protect each other and inspire one another and, more even concretely, resource one another, then change won’t happen.”

“I think this movement to say ‘Fund women and girls’ is really a bigger and more complicated message and purpose, which is to have greater accountability of philanthropic capital, to serve the needs of the people that were given the mission by nature of a philanthropic status to serve.”

I feel like so much of the work of feminism and the women’s movement has been reacting to the forces of the patriarchal structure that of course exists, and has dominated for the entire of human history. So part of where my head is going, which is really shifting my energy away from this idea of incremental change, into leapfrogging into a completely different place, is that change of mindset which is to say “Let’s imagine the world not as it is, but what is possible under a set of assumptions where women are in their power.”