To inspire and mobilize the community to invest in organizations and leaders that will advance the rights of and opportunities for women and girls, and achieve gender equity for all.
Our Guiding Principles
At WOMEN’S WAY, our core principles will guide all the work we do. We promise to: build a dynamic, diverse, and inclusive community; work in solidarity with community members to build collective power; shape and assess all our strategies through the lens of intersectionality; pursue solutions that are grounded in the principle of self-determination; and be responsive to our community, environment, and resources to hold ourselves to the highest standards of accountability.
View our guiding principles definitions here.
WOMEN’S WAY is committed to creating a cultural environment that: values the diversity of each individual; integrates equity into its practices and policies; embraces and respects each individual through inclusion; fosters the development of new knowledge through continual learning; empowers each individual to leverage their strengths and expertise through shared leadership; and builds trust among its community members through transparency.
View our values definitions here.
Our Core Pillars
Advancing reproductive justice and sexual health
Increasing safety against gender-based violence
Promoting economic self-sufficiency & justice
Developing the leadership of girls and young women
mission in actionclick to expand
We connect and build a community of donors, volunteers, activists, and organizations dedicated to women, girls and gender equity issues.
We empower organizations and individuals to speak out and take action to support equal opportunity for women, girls, and gender equality.
We invest in organizations and leaders that work to advance the rights and opportunities for women and girls, and achieve gender equality through grantmaking and other forms of capacity building.
For the past 45 years
WOMEN’S WAY has been inspiring, mobilizing, and uniting organizations, generations, and individuals to cultivate high-impact philanthropy across the Greater Philadelphia region to accomplish gender equity for all.
Louise Page and Margaret Bacon, two friends living in Philadelphia,
become inspired by the works of women who had come generations before them. Together, these two women begin to conceptualize uniting women in Philadelphia in support of women’s issues and causes that were at the time seen as unconventional.
Seven different Philadelphia-based organizations
dedicated to women’s issues band together in what is known as the “Women’s Coalition,” later named WOMEN’S WAY. They unite their resources to establish a greater capacity for advocacy and fundraising.
WOMEN’S WAY holds our first annual Powerful Voice Awards,
honoring Coretta Scott King with our first Lucretia Mott Award.
WOMEN’S WAY is denied membership to United Way
because our member organizations included those that were committed to reproductive rights and contraceptive counseling. WOMEN’S WAY decides to stay together as an organization, standing strong in support of women’s and girls’ rights.
WOMEN’S WAY holds our first national conference in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Constitution
to discuss women’s evolving status under the Constitution. Speakers included Ellen Goodman, Gloria Steinem, Yolanda King, and 80+ more notable figures.
WOMEN’S WAY establishes our Young Women’s Initiative
to provide opportunities for young women in their early 20s to 40s, recognizing the need for young leaders in order to sustain the organization.
WOMEN’S WAY publishes the report "A Change of Pace: Accelerating Women’s Progress"
in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, assessing women’s socioeconomic standing in Philadelphia.
WOMEN’S WAY works
to ensure the passing of the Human Trafficking Prevention, Act 105.
WOMEN’S WAY launches the Immediate Response Action Fund (IRAF)
to quickly distribute funds to organizations to address the needs of women and girls as they arise.
WOMEN’S WAY launches the Women's Economic Security Initiative(WESI)
a long-term, systems-level collaborative initiative centered around the shared vision that all women in the Philadelphia region attain financial well-being for themselves and their families.
The Gender Wealth Institute (GWI) is formed to close the gender wealth gap in the Greater Philadelphia region
by advancing research and practical solutions that build wealth for women who are economically insecure. GWI is the newest evolution of the Women’s Economic Security Initiative (WESI).
Following WOMEN’S WAY’s commitment to equity in grantmaking and in direct response to community input, the General Operating Fund opens
to provide 2-year grants to local organizations primarily serving women, girls, and/or the gender-expansive community. These grants are designed to support day-to-day program and operation costs. Priority is given to organizations led by women of color with budgets under $500,000.
The Gender Wealth Institute launches the Gender Wealth Index, a large-scale regional research campaign
to identify and address key drivers of gender wealth inequity. This research project will lead to the creation of the Philadelphia region’s (+Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery) first Gender Wealth Index.