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 is now an integral part of Women for Change’s activities.

Dr Kakenya Ntaiya with ABC World Today radio presenter Eleanor Hall

Dr Ntaiya on ABC World Today with Eleanor Hall.

In the months immediately prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, two Standing on our Shoulders teams were launched. These teams completed 3 very successful events featuring Dr Kakenya Ntaiya during the week of International Women’s Day 2020. Participants in these teams came from diverse backgrounds including business / corporate, media and education. The work of these teams was cut short by the impact of the pandemic.

Since November 2020, another two Standing on Our Shoulders team have begun to meet to consider innovative ways to operate in the current environment. These teams are a blend of past and new participants. We look forward to seeing their impact.

During 2020 & 2021, Standing On Our Shoulders activities will contribute to an endowment fund to enable future graduates of Kakenya’s Center of Excellence to attend tertiary education.

For further information about Standing on Our Shoulders or to get involved please contact us.

Standing on Our Shoulders