International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate the achievements of women, whilst calling for gender equality. To mark the occasion, we’re highlighting incredible women who are leading the way in the charity, social enterprise and technology sectors.

Jacqueline Novogratz

By Vinay Nair, CEO & co-founder of Lighftul

It might look like an easy choice to select a person who has appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine and who is considered by the Daily Beast as one of the 25 Smartest People of the Decade but I’ve had the great pleasure to work with and for Jacqueline Novogratz over many years. So, on #IWD2018, I’d like to celebrate her humanity and her conviction.

Concepts that Jacqueline coined directly or as a leader of a wider impact investing movement have become part of “Main Street” as well as Wall Street. Patient capital, impact investing and moral leadership are all ways of working and thinking that must be put at the heart of all that we do. +Acumen recently announced its remarkable 600,000th online course signup and Acumen just made several energy investments in new countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. Acumen staff alumni are major influencers, whether in the Middle East or in Silicon Valley.

Throughout it all, Jacqueline has fortified her drive, her grit, her compassion and her own moral leadership that serves as an inspiration to everyone around her. Happy #IWD2018 to Jacqueline and everyone who has been galvanised by her to make a positive change around us.

Alisha F Miranda

By Carlos Miranda, CEO of I.G. Advisors, Chairman at Social Misfits Media,  Chairman and co-founder at Lightful

I’ve been very lucky to have many truly amazing women in my life. My mother, grandmothers, sister, daughter, and my first boss were  – and continue – to be huge influences on my life. However, today I’d like to take a moment to highlight the work of my wife, Alisha F. Miranda. Not only is she a caring mother and a wonderful wife but she’s a kick-ass business partner whose career and professional aspirations have focused on women and girls empowerment and sustainable fashion. Whether it’s through advising donors on how best to engage with women and girl initiatives at I.G. Advisors or through the Not My Style app she launched two years ago, Alisha is pro-actively making this world a better place. She’s an inspiration to everyone that meets her; I can honestly say that I’m constantly in awe of her (as well as several steps behind).

Eileen Burbidge

By Susie Perks, Client Director at Lightful

Eileen’s achievements certainly make for an impressive list: Chair of Tech City UK, special envoy for FinTech for the government and ‘queen of British VCs’ according to Forbes magazine to name a few.

However, she is not my choice for International Women’s Day because of all her achievements. Instead, I admire the way that she works and her encouragement of women and girls to get involved and to see tech as a level playing field. Many women will relate to her self-described “natural introvert” personality or how she juggles her role as a mother of four alongside her work – but she does not make herself a victim or draw attention to these. Her hard-working, no-nonsense attitude is an inspiration for the way that we should aim to get noticed in the workplace. I feel this quote sums up this attitude, “If some people correlate low expectations with me because I’m a woman, there’s no question I will over-deliver, and that is always very satisfying”.

Tisha Brown

By Johnny Murnane, COO & co-founder of Lightful

My wife and I were going through our wedding RSVPs last summer, and I noticed that our friend Tisha had politely declined.  When I enquired as to why, my wife said that she was going to be on a mission saving the planet.  A grand statement, but knowing Tisha as I do, I suspected it was an accurate one.

Tisha works for Greenpeace and is a prolific campaigner.  For equality.  For justice.  For the environment.  For animals.  If she’s not holding major drinks companies to account over their pollution of the oceans, she’s on Channel 4 news explaining the dangers of fracking, or leading a human rights protest outside an embassy.  While we were celebrating our nuptials with family and friends, she was doing an audit of the single use plastic bottles that were polluting the waters and threatening the habitat of a remote island in the Philippines.  Tisha literally goes to the ends of the earth.

Tisha is truly unique, and one of those people who restores your faith in both social action, and in humanity.  When I think of personal heros, I think of Tisha.

Alice Perry

By Haydn Thomas, Director of Development at Lightful

Alice is the Head of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Councillor for the London Borough of Islington and represents local government on the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee. She is an incredibly devoted and effective fundraiser, campaigner and public servant.

At LSHTM, Alice manages the global alumni community of health professionals and has built a successful Annual Giving programme from scratch to provide scholarships to students from emerging markets. Alice is also a devoted community organiser and leader for social justice, education and equality. She is a member of Labour’s National Policy Forum, co-chairs Labour’s Home Affairs and Justice Policy Commission and serves on the NEC’s equalities, disputes and organisation sub-committee.

Beth Kanter

By Tereza Litsa, Social Media Manager at Lightful

Beth Kanter is a master trainer, speaker and author. With more than 35 years experience in the nonprofit sector, she is one of the most influential women in our sector. She was actually named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company and one of BusinessWeek’s Voices of Innovation for Social Media.

If that wasn’t enough, she has one of the most popular nonprofit blogs where she writes about the latest trends, what’s coming up and how nonprofits can keep up with all the digital changes.

Conscious that technology can be all consuming, Beth has written a book, Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout in an attempt to remind everyone of the importance to stay productive but to look after their health too.

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We’d love to hear who your #IWD2018 heroes are so tweet us at @Lightful. Together, let’s celebrate and honour incredible women and their contribution to making our world a better place.

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