ShePlace, a new online platform for women and girls, has recently launched out of Park City, Utah. The platform is the vision of Founder and CEO Jacki Zehner. It is the result of Zehner’s decades of work championing the advancement of women and girls.
“I finally decided to try to build that which I wanted to see in the world—a place, a platform, a community, for women+ who wholeheartedly want to support other women+,” Zehner explained.
Creating a platform for women and girls
Zehner was the first female and youngest woman to make partner at the legendary Wall Street firm, Goldman Sachs. Since she departed the firm in 2002, her focus has been mainly on philanthropy. Zehner is certainly no stranger to community building. She co-founded and led a global philanthropic network called Women Moving Millions for nine years. Significantly, members of the global community have collectively given over $1 billion to women and girls’ organizations.
“It was time to do more here, in Utah, as well as nationally,” Zehner said. “Sadly, while the state is improving, Utah is middle of the pack* in this country in terms of living standards for women, and that is simply unacceptable to me. Together, we can do better.”
About the platform
ShePlace will offer virtual and in-person events, curated resources, educational opportunities and an online community. Close to 300 women have already joined. Members can access content by subscribing to ShePlace’s monthly newsletter, the first of which appeared last week. ShePlace has taken up residence at the recently opened Kiln workspace in Park City. This will be the site for many of the startup’s activities.
Joining ShePlace as COO is Utah native Madison Limansky, formerly Managing Partner at the fashion consulting company, Farasha. “As a gender studies graduate from the University of Utah,” Limansky said, “the opportunity to take my experience in fashion and production into this new role where I can align my personal values with my professional endeavors is a dream come true.”
The power of sisterhood
ShePlace is all about Sistering Up, a term Zehner has coined to describe a mindset and a framework for action. The word “sistering” finds its roots in construction terminology and is used to describe the action of adding additional materials to strengthen a structure.
“If we want to have a hope of achieving gender equity in our lifetime,” Zehner said, ”we have to support, amplify and champion for each other.” The positive use of money will be a focus area of ShePlace, given Zehner’s background and passion for women’s financial empowerment, and each newsletter will feature content on how to spend, invest and give with impact.
ShePlace will host its first event tomorrow, May 20th. The event is free to attend and is open to all in a virtual format. It will feature two local women, Ze Min Xiao, the newly appointed Director for the Center for Equity and Belonging at the Economic Development Corporation of Utah and Nubia Peña, Senior Advisor on Equity and Opportunity and Director of the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs. The event will be hosted on Run the World, a woman-founded tech company.
“We are looking forward to hearing about the ways in which these two women have been sistering up over the course of the pandemic, and the work they do in our community to create inclusive spaces that have a focus on belonging,” Zehner said.
Also of note, and in the theme of #sisteringup, ShePlace will collaborate with award-winning New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly. Donnelly will produce original sketches and cartoons for both the ShePlace Newsletter and the SheInvests Newsletter. Zehner produces both newsletters via LinkedIn and has already amassed over 16,000 direct subscribers from her total following of nearly 700,000.
“Our intention is to do many collaborations with amazing women+ artists, creators, business owners, writers and so much more. Stay tuned.”
ShePlace is an online platform and community where we seek to actualize a world where all women+ are valued, resourced, and thriving, and where we believe wholeheartedly that our individual prosperity is connected to the prosperity and well-being of all other women+. At ShePlace, we utilize women+ to welcome and include all self identifying women, including cis and transgender women, as well as non-binary and gender fluid individuals. While our community and offerings are catered to women+, we welcome the support of allies who share our values.
* Best and Worst States for Women, Utah ranks 28th in the nation.
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