Celebrating Women’s History Month: Q&A with Brenda Asare and The Alford Group
To celebrate Women’s History Month, AFP is highlighting leaders among the charitable sector, along with supporters and sponsors of the AFP Women’s Impact Initiative (WII) and the AFP Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA): Alford Group Mentoring and Leadership Development Program.
Today, we’re talking with Brenda Asare, president and CEO of The Alford Group, sponsor of the AFP IDEA: Alford Group Mentoring and Leadership Development Program.
AFP: Why did your organization choose to support the Women’s Impact Initiative?
The Alford Group wanted to invest in strengthening and diversifying the talent pool of fundraising professionals. We know that women's participation in the labor force is projected to increase by 2024, while men's participation is forecasted as shrinking.
AFP: Why is the initiative important to the fundraising profession?
The initiative is important to the fundraising profession because it creates a pipeline of talent, creates greater inclusivity and acts as a springboard for women to take on leadership positions within the sector. The Alford Group believes that women are catalytic in creating change.
AFP: What are you most proud of contributing to?
The Alford Group is most proud of the caliber of women who will benefit from the Women's Impact Initiative and will go on to lead organizations and continue to mentor other women.
AFP: How does the work of your organization help support the work of the initiative?
The Alford Group is majority female team members, comprised of three demographic generations: Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials—and it reflects diversity as well. We are proud to have Jennifer Shin, one of our distinguished consultants, serve on the Women's Impact Initiative committee.
AFP: Give us an example of what you are doing in your workplace to support women?
The Alford Group places high value on investing in our staff so they can grow personally and professionally in their career at the firm. The Alford Group demystifies the career ladder so everyone is clear on how to advance within the firm. Also, as a learning organization, we support membership and participation in professional organizations, encourage team members to join boards, and to own their thought leadership through writing content and public presence.
AFP: What’s the most important challenge you see in ensuring equity for women in the profession?
Closing the salary gap. Women have been leading and are ready to lead. Let's bring the value of diverse leadership and inclusion to the forefront to address gender equity salary issues.