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Gender Equality

What We Learned in 2015

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What We Learned in 2015

What We Learned in 2016 -- WhyWhisper Collective

2015 was an exciting year! We worked to expand access to integrative healthcare for communities in need, designed programs to support new mothers, expanded awareness of clean energy initiatives in New York, and so much more. We connected with inspiring individuals who are working to change the world every day. We made big internal changes (that we’re excited to share with you in 2016!). And, perhaps most importantly, we learned a lot.

Along the way, we’ve been sure to share many of our takeaways with you via our blog. As 2015 comes to a close and you’re kicking of 2016, be sure to check out the posts below to find insights on the subjects (both personal and professional) that are most relevant to you!

Start with Yourself

This year, we learned a lot about the importance of taking time for self-care and self-improvement. The positive effects of taking care of yourself extend to all areas of your life -- from mental health to workplace effectiveness. Self-improvement looks different for each individual, and can encompass anything from taking time off, to making more responsible purchasing decisions, to educating yourself about things that matter to you. To help you get started, here’s some of what we’ve learned:

 

Learn from the Experts

We believe one of the best ways to learn about social impact is by example. This year, we’ve been lucky enough to connect with and learn from innovative and effective leaders from nonprofits, social enterprises, and corporations. Here’s a bit of what we’ve learned:

 

Share Your Message

One of our focus areas at WhyWhisper is helping nonprofits and socially conscious businesses spread the word about their work. From developing voice and messaging guidelines to implementing an effective social media strategy and beyond, there are so many ways you can ensure that people know about the impact you’re making. If you’re looking for tips, start here:

 

Think About Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The concept of building social impact into existing business models is on the rise, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Businesses and corporations can make significant headway in addressing social issues, and we look forward to seeing (and helping) more of you follow suit next year. If you’re interested in learning more about CSR, here’s some of what we’ve shared this past year:

 

Increase Your Impact

We’re constantly exploring ways that organizations and businesses can make internal changes that have a positive effect on their workplaces and on the world. Here’s some of what we’ve learned:

 

Take Action

We’re also always looking for ways to help our community bridge the gap between caring about a particular issue and actually taking action. When you’re short on resources, or don’t really know where to get started, it can be tough to make moves. We’ve put together a number of posts about how you can take action around different issues – and some are as easy as talking about the issues online! Check them out:

 

Words of Wisdom for Freelancers

At WhyWhisper, we set out to build a different kind of work structure. As such, our team is comprised of consultants who work remotely and independently, taking on projects that are personally meaningful with teammates who support and inspire. But freelancing has its own challenges, and we’ve learned a lot along the way:

What’s your biggest learning from 2015? We’d love to hear about it, and share with our community. Here’s how to get in touch:

Happy New Year to our incredible community! We’re so lucky to learn from you every day, and can’t wait for all that we’ll do together this year. Feel free to connect with us anytime – we love to hear from you.

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Take a Stand for Human Rights

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Take a Stand for Human Rights

by Kate Vandeveld

Tomorrow is International Human Rights Day, commemorating the day that UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. To give some context, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the first global expression of rights that all human beings are inherently entitled to – in other words, an extremely important step in the human rights movement.

This year, the day is dedicated to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50thanniversary of the two major human rights covenants adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1966. The theme for 2015 is ‘Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.’, focusing on such rights and freedoms as freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. You can learn more about the day and what it represents here.

International Human Rights Day provides us with an opportunity to take time out of our lives to think about the rights that we believe every human should have, who lacks them, and what actions we can take to stand up for them. 

So today, we challenge you to really think about that: What do you care about enough to stand up for, and how will you go about it?

If you’re looking for some ideas to get started, here are a few campaigns we support:

Eliminate Gender Based Violence 

An estimated 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. And that’s a conservative estimate – as you might imagine, a large number of cases go unreported.

Not enough people are aware of these shocking statistics, and that’s the first problem. That’s why from November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, through tomorrow, UN Women has been running a campaign to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls all over the world. The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign is encouraging you to “Orange the World” by sharing photos, messages, and videos to raise awareness about the problem. If you want to join the campaign, check out their Facebook and Twitter feeds and learn how you can spread awareness yourself.

 

Stand up for LGBT Rights

In more than half of the country, the LGBT community can be denied employment just because of their suspected sexual preferences – it’s legal in 31 American states. And this is only the beginning of the appalling statistics surrounding this issue – learn more about LGBT discrimination here.

If you want to help spread awareness of the issues surrounding LGBT rights, check out the UN’s Free & Equal Campaign, a global public education campaign for LGBT equality. The primary purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, and promote greater respect for the rights of LGBT and intersex people everywhere.  

 

Join the Movement for Gender Equality

Gender inequality remains a huge issue, across all sectors. To start, women in most countries earn on average only 60 to 75 per cent of men’s wages, and girls all over the world continue to be majorly excluded from education systems. And, once again, this is just the beginning – you can learn more here.  

One of our favorite initiatives around gender equality is the He for She campaign. He for She brings men and women together to support one another, for the benefit of both genders. They’re building a movement that creates substantive impact at the policy level, and they’re working to get the masses involved. You can commit to taking action against gender discrimination and violence in order to build a more just and equal world here, or take it a step further with help from their action kit

 

Support Syrian Refugees

Right now in Syria, 13.5 million people need humanitarian assistance. 4.3 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.6 million are displaced within Syria – half of which are children. These people – all of them – need our help. Why now? Winter is coming, and refugees who are currently living in settlements have fewer resources than they’ve ever had. And this means that they’re more vulnerable to trafficking and other dangerous forms of escape.

If you want to provide support in this critical moment, start with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which is providing basic and necessary humanitarian aid to Syrians in need. This aid takes the form of cash for medicine and food, supplies for heating, winter clothing, and more. Every donation makes a difference, and UNHCR explains exactly how each dollar amount will impact the individuals and families who need it most.

 

On the most basic level, just talking about human rights violations on your own digital platforms (and in real life!) is so important. Think about the issues that matter to you, do some research, and spread the word. 

What are you doing to stand up for human rights today (and beyond!)? Share with us – here’s how:

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Want to Change the World? Start with Your Workplace

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Want to Change the World? Start with Your Workplace

by Anne Rackow

“Do what you can, with what you have, from where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Changing the world for the better can happen anywhere - even the workplace. In fact, if you own or manage a company, it’s the perfect place to start: incorporating social responsibility at work can help attract top talent and improve employee satisfaction

This is especially true when hiring Millennials. According to a study by Deloitte, a sense of purpose was a major factor in workplace choice for 6 in 10 Millennials. This statistic increases to approximately 8 in 10 for Millennials who are relatively high users of social networking tools.

While non-profits and social enterprises may appear to have a leg up in this department, traditional businesses and corporations are actually joining the movement at an increased rate as well. We recently talked about a few of these “unusual suspects” that are incorporating impact into their existing business models.

Even companies with socially conscious missions can do things on this list to take it a step further.  Here are a few suggestions for how you can create an environment that supports social justice in your day-to-day operations:

Develop Inclusive & Equal Workplace Policies

  • Implement a flexible leave policy that is supportive of major holidays for all religions.
  • Ensure that the company leadership is diverse in terms of gender, race and ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
  • Offer generous family leave for both males and females after the birth or adoption of a new child, and make sure that your policy allows you to be flexible with working parents.
  • If you contract with staffing agencies, make sure that their workers are getting a fair wage and safe working conditions.
  • Similarly, use ethical supply chains that do not use slave labor or sweatshops in the creation of the materials and products used or sold by your company. If you’re unsure where to find these kinds of products, Made in a Free World can help!
  • If you have separate restrooms for men and women, install changing tables in both. Also, consider gender neutral restrooms.

Support Your Local Economy

  • Decorate with art from local artists in your community.
  • Host regular companywide days of volunteering or offer a match plan for donations.
  • Cater events with and host company gatherings at local mom and pop restaurants

Get Sustainable in the Office

  • Stock your printers with recycled paper and print on both sides, when possible.
  • When you get new electronics, recycle the old ones.
  • In the restroom, use paper towels made from recycled paper, air hand dryers, and low flow toilets.
  • Close the blinds on large windows on nights and weekends, and use a timer to regulate heat and AC.
  • If you provide coffee in the break room, buy coffee that is fair trade and locally roasted. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to making the world a better place or increasing employee satisfaction; but if it is possible to do both at the same time, it sounds like a win to us! While it may not be realistic to try implementing every suggestion on this list right away, there is at least one thing on this list that your business or organization can implement relatively easily.

 

What are some small changes that you’ve made in the workplace that have had a positive social impact? Share with us! Here’s how…

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