Jacki Zehner On Women, Money, and Changing the World  » Blog

March 22, 2017

(Un) Hidden Figures – It’s About Time

As published on LinkedIn Influencers on March 22nd, 2017

I, like many people, watched the Oscars last month, but unlike most people, for me, the Best Picture category was not a two horse race. In my mind, it was already decided long before the ceremony began. With all due respect to La La Land and Moonlight, as far as I’m concerned the best film of last year was Hidden Figures. It may even be one of my favourite films ever, although I’m reserving judgement on that until I see Wonder Woman in June. But for now, Hidden Figures is my pick, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I can’t recommend it enough. This film manages to make math and science as exciting and action packed as any recent superhero movie, and it tells a story that was long since overdue for recognition. For those of you who have yet to discover this incredible film, Hidden Figures tells the story of Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson, three African-American female scientists working for NASA at the height of the space race in the early 1960s.

The story of the race to put a human into space is well known, as are the names of John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin, but as is so often the case, the people behind the scenes rarely receive the recognition they deserve. In particular,…

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March 08, 2017

The Evidence is In: 400 Reports to Support Gender Lens Giving and Investing

As published on LinkedIn Influencers on March 8th, 2017.

Today is International Women’s Day, which is observed every year on March 8th. The first known observance of International Women’s Day was in 1909 in New York, and although it may have humble origins, this day has since grown into a worldwide movement, a day of activism, and in some countries, a public holiday. Since 1996, an official theme for International Women’s Day has been chosen by the United Nations, and this year, the theme is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030. Not coincidentally, this year’s celebrations will be marked by worldwide women’s strikes, dubbed A Day Without Women, as well as protests for equal pay and gender equality. Every year brilliant people write impassioned pieces about women’s rights, why it matters, and what needs to change going forward, so be sure to follow the conversation online at #IWD2017 and #beboldforchange.

So what can I add to this conversation? Research. Before I became a full-time philanthropist and investor, I worked on Wall Street. I was a trader at Goldman Sachs, and I relied heavily on research to inform my investment decisions. Which securities and sectors had value and which did not? The answers to these questions were to be found in the research. After leaving Wall Street and turning my attention more fully to the issue of…

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February 14, 2017

It’s Time to Drop the Ball

drop-the-ballAs published on LinkedIn Influencers on February 14th, 2017

Hello, my name is Jacki Zehner. I am a former partner and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, and I am now a full time philanthropist, investor, advisor, connector, and movement builder, almost all of which works towards my purpose in life of advancing women and girls. I have many formal roles and titles, as well as many informal ones. My primary title is that of Chief Engagement Officer and Board Member of Women Moving Millions. I am also a Board Member of the Sundance Institute, and chair their development committee. Recently, I have gone beyond merely funding social issue documentaries by moving into executive producing (Hot Girls WantedThe Hunting Ground50/50). I am a wife to an amazing husband. I am a proud mother of two wonderful children and adorable two dogs. I am a friend, ally, confidant, mentor, mentee, and cheerleader to many, and because of all this, my to do list is often just shy of a mile long. So how do I do it all? Answer: the best that I can.

One of the biggest refrains from the second and third wave feminist movements was the idea that women could do it all and have it all. We were entering the workforce at a critical mass, all while raising families and creating happy homes, and although this all sounds good in theory, more and more research is pointing to a far less euphoric truth….

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