Standing On Our Shoulders

“If we are going to dramatically lift the number of female leaders we need to stand on each other’s shoulders.” - Dr Kakenya Ntaiya.

The Standing On Our Shoulders(SoOS) program links and supports women while focusing on philanthropy. Senior professional women offer coaching and support to talented women within a team that is united around a fundraising objective.

The team members share and leverage each other’s skills to undertake initiatives to support tertiary education for women in developing countries. The Standing On Our Shoulders program is arranged so that teams of women work towards a fundraising target.

Dr Kakenya Ntaiya with two of her students, Linet and Sharon

Dr Ntaiya, her students Linet and Sharon at Macquarie Foundation’s International Women’s Week breakfast, March 2018.

The Standing on Our Shoulders program began in 2018 as an initiative of Kristin Stubbins, PwC Partner and Chair of Women for Change and Virginia Briggs, Partner at Minter Ellison. In that year 4 teams engaged in events and activities to raise funds that are providing tertiary education for the first girls who graduated from Kakenya’s Center for Excellence. The initiatives undertaken by these teams included a music event, a leadership/ mentoring breakfast with Julie Bishop and a corporate spelling bee competition. A number of the women involved formed long standing support relationships with other women in their teams – all at different stages of their careers. Following the success of this pilot, the Standing on Our Shoulders program continues in 2020.

Dr Kakenya Ntaiya with ABC World Today radio presenter Eleanor Hall

Dr Ntaiya on ABC World Today with Eleanor Hall.

Two Standing on our Shoulders teams were launched in February with a further 2-3 teams expected to join the program in Q2 2020. These teams have participants from several different corporate organisations, media and education. The current teams completed 3 International Women’s Day events involving Dr Kakenya Ntaiya during the first week of March.

They included IWD events at Morgan Stanley and LEK and a breakfast event ‘Sarah Macdonald (ABC Radio) in conversation with Dr Kakenya Ntaiya’. More initiatives are planned for the coming months.

The Standing On Our Shoulders program in 2020 will contribute to an endowment fund that will enable future graduates of Kakenya’s Center of Excellence to attend tertiary education.

Standing on Our Shoulders