Connecting a global community of women to share resources and solve issues
WorldWideWomen is a new organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing the lives of women and girls around the world. Its online resource center, with more than 6,000 listings across 20 major cities globally, connects women to thousands of valuable and vetted organizations, programs, and services that have the potential to powerfully and positively impact their lives.
Here is how the organization describes its mission: “We know there is a lot to do, but we believe the first step is to create a central place where women can come to find and share valuable resources, connect with each other, and collaborate to solve issues that impact our global community of women. Spend some time on the website, and we guarantee that you will discover some amazing new resources that you had no idea existed . . . there is truly something for every woman at every stage of life.”
ESME is proud to feature WorldWideWomen, which focuses on key issues ranging from education and health to launching a business, career support, motherhood, women’s rights, and much more. Its team encourages you to sign up (it’s free) for special members-only invitations, updates on exciting new resources, and inspiring stories, as well as to add your favorite services for women and girls or your own organization to its directory.
ESME had the opportunity to speak with Isabel McComish, WorldWideWomen’s business development and festival coordinator. McComish is a Solo Mom of two who chose to work in an environment that values family time. Bravo, WorldWideWomen!
Q: When and why did you get involved with WorldWideWomen?
A: I needed to get back to doing something that was meaningful to me that also allowed me to use my skills. When I learned about WorldWideWomen’s online global resource for women and girls and the way it’s brought to life with the WorldWideWomen Girls’ Festival, I knew it was the right thing to be part of.
Q: What are the key services your organization provides? What kinds of difficulties do your clients face?
A: We host several events every year with the mission of offering opportunities to girls, especially to those who are underserved and underrepresented. First and foremost, we host the massive Girls’ Festival, which includes panel presentations; career mentoring; Maker’s Space activities; coding workshops; fitness, health, and wellness activities; performances; etc. These activities are presented by our local partners, including dozens of nonprofits that serve women and girls and corporations that offer impactful community programs. Many of the girls in the [San Francisco] Bay Area (and elsewhere) lack access to opportunities, and this is the problem we are trying to solve, both through the events and through worldwidewomen.co.
Q: How many Solo Moms or Solo Mom families are you able to help? Is there any family or mom in particular who stands out for you? Can you share their story?
A: We most certainly have Solo Moms who are coming to us for resources and events where they can discover firsthand a wealth of local resources available to them. One family that stands out is an aunt who brought her niece to our first Girls’ Festival. Her niece had lost her mom. After experiencing so many different activities, helping pack hygiene kits for women’s shelters, and seeing possibilities for herself as an entrepreneur, the girl left completely inspired. Her aunt told us that the festival was life changing for her niece and that it made her come alive for the first time in years.
Q: Is there a memorable event or situation that demonstrates the goals of your organization?
A: The most memorable moments have occurred at the Girls’ Festival when we could witness these young girls seeing new possibilities for themselves in their lives. We watched them light up as they listened to incredible women panelists and change makers from Ghana and India; we saw them deeply engage with mentors working in industries they were interested in; and we spoke with parents bursting with gratitude for all the information and fun the event brought to their daughters.
Q: What are some of the challenges your organization faces in terms of funding and support?
A: Like all nonprofits, funding is a struggle. There are so many valuable organizations that are serving communities in different ways, and the pool from which to draw is limited. That being said, we are serving women and girls, an effort that is gaining more visibility now, so hopefully that will work in our favor! As far as our online global resource center, our struggle is visibility and member base. We have created such an amazing free resource for women everywhere, and we would just love for more women to take advantage of it.
Q: How have you been impacted by this work? Has it changed you in any way?
A: The greatest impact for me has been interacting with the girls at our events. It means a lot to provide girls with experiences such as attending a powerful theater production or joining in a career-mentoring evening, especially because many of them would not get the chance to do so otherwise. Also, seeing them engage and reap the benefits of that is always a highlight. Being a part of this has solidified my love for children in the greater community and made me realize how even small moments can be life changing.
Q: What are you most proud of in terms of your work with and participation in WorldWideWomen?
A: We care about the girls and the schools that we reach, and we have something to offer on a grander scale that goes beyond our local community. Our founder, Maureen Broderick, sought to help women around the world, and we’re doing that step-by-step.
Thank you, Isabel McComish and WorldWideWomen, for all that you do for women and girls around the world.
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