Girls Inc.'s Project Accelerate reduces the gender gap by extending a comprehensive continuum of leadership programs to young women beyond high school. By scaling and sustaining the Girls Inc. connection through college and career entry, their career trajectories (with emphasis on STEM careers) are bolstered by our partnerships with post-secondary institutions to ensure graduation and pairing young women with influential, supportive advocates in corporate and social impact organizations. Then, they pay it forward, exponentially expanding Project Accelerate's future reach. Expected outcomes include young women graduating on-time; increasing networks of influence for marginalized populations of girls; and job-placement in well-compensated, influential positions. This solution primes young women to hold seats at predominant tables, contributing their voices in spaces where women are continually underrepresented. The scalability of the model is compelling. With 78 affiliates and growing, Project Accelerate aims to lift 5,400 diverse women into corporate positions of power and influence, shifting the equity landscape for generations.
Girls Inc.website: https://girlsinc.org/
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Girls Inc. used the first year of Equality Can’t Wait funding to successfully launch Project Accelerate, making considerable progress on both arms of our dual strategy. Seven pilot affiliates joined with the national organization to form a Steering Committee, an innovative governance structure carried over from the proposal process. The pilots began programming immediately, serving 480 young women in high school and over 346 in college, both ahead of our planned targets, and a cohort of six new affiliates was on-boarded for year two following a competitive application process. Ground was laid and invitations sent for the corporate Leadership Council, which will launch later this summer. Despite a truncated first year, Project Accelerate is well on its way to achieving the transformational impact that was originally envisioned.