The Harnisch Foundation Announces a New Matching Grant for GenderAvenger

Ruth Ann Harnisch

I used to laugh when my Sicilian grandfather talked out loud to the television. “They can’t hear you, Grandpa!” I used to tell him.

Nearly half a century later, I find myself yelling at the television – and the computer screen, the newspaper, the billboards, the conference programs, the flyer for the museum speaker series, and everyplace else that features an all-male (and usually all white and probably all-straight and cisgender) panel, cast, and list of credits and startup founders. You know the drill.

Especially now, when we’re acknowledging how inequality hobbles women and people of color economically, socially, politically, and physically, my anger rises when I see evidence of obliviousness to other genders, other skin tones.

But unlike Grandpa, I have a way of yelling at the television that makes a measurable difference.

Gina Glantz and GenderAvenger have given me — and you and everyone with access to a smartphone — a way to yell at the television in public, AND WE ARE HEARD.

The Harnisch Foundation invests in programs, projects, and people who are unwilling to accept unfair gender and racial imbalances in public and private life.

GenderAvenger allows anyone who finds themselves in the audience for a “manel” (all-male panel) to report it immediately the GA Tally app, with a guaranteed signal boost from the GA community. This simple tool has a surprisingly good track record of getting the attention of those responsible for failing to be more inclusive.

I’m so impressed that GenderAvenger’s GA Tally app has been made more inclusive, enabling us to share even more information about who gets to speak.

The Harnisch Foundation is offering a $25,000 matching grant, partly so we would have a good reason to tell more people about the GenderAvenger app!

We also hope to find a lot of new friends and supporters for GenderAvenger.

If you’ve ever said “I wish I had a dollar for every all-male panel I’ve had to sit through,” well, so do the people at GenderAvenger. So send them one, or a hundred, or a thousand, or just make short work of this match and send YOUR $25,000 gift.

(Have you downloaded the GA Tally yet? The GA Tally app is available on iPhone and Android, and you can even use it on your desktop.)

And when you’re asked to be part of a panel, a program, or a founding team of a tech company, make sure to ask about the inclusion factor.

We’re often told it’s harder to find people who fit the criteria, who qualify, or who are big enough names. In fact, with some extra effort, the systemic discrimination that has been keeping everything so straight, white, and male for so long can be overcome.

It’s do-able, and the GenderAvenger app brings us proof.

It’s not just for complaining! GA publishes happy reports too, where the gender (and other) composition reflects well on companies, schools, organizations, publications, media outlets, and others.

Thank you.

Whether you send money, download the app, pledge not to appear on (or produce) manels, or simply start noticing how little of our public life is an accurate reflection of the population at large, thanks for being a part of the social change that will benefit us all.

Ruth Ann Harnisch

Ruth Ann Harnisch (@ruthannharnisch) invests in intersectional social change through philanthropy, equities, and venture capital. Ruth Ann is a political activist, writer, filmmaker, coach, and known on the internet as “The Punk Rock Fairy Godmother Of Feminism.”