EPIP-NY Women's Empowerment Event

The narratives about women leaders are as varied as they are contradictory: women should “lean in” but remain likable. Women need to advocate for themselves but not be pushy. Women can “have it all” but they must not compromise in either their personal or professional lives. As emerging leaders, how do you make sense of the structural barriers and cultural expectations surrounding women in the workplace? How do you define a leadership style that is authentic AND helps you to achieve your goals?

Join EPIP-NY for our second annual Women’s Empowerment Workshop focused on helping women in philanthropy define their roles as leaders and advance in their careers!

Neha Raval, Program Officer at The New York Women's Foundation, will moderate a conversation with Wilma Montañez, Program Director for Reproductive Rights at the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, on her remarkable journey as a leader in the health, women’s rights, and philanthropic sectors.  Then, Emily Kessler, Senior Advisor at EPIP, will lead a workshop to develop awareness of your leadership style, engage with peers in the field, and develop strategies you can use to advance your career.

Space is limited. RSVP is required. 

Check-in begins at 8:15 AM. Program begins promptly at 8:30 AM.

Please contact newyork@epip.org with questions and follow us on Twitter @epipny

Wilma Montañez


Wilma Montañez, Program Director for Reproductive Rights, joined the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation in 1996. Montañez, began her career in reproductive health, rights and justice in 1974 in Providence, Rhode Island.  She also worked in California and in New York City as a health educator and clinic administrator.  Her work has focused on women’s health issues in culturally diverse communities across the nation with a focus on health and reproductive rights advocacy, particularly for women of color and youth.

As a philanthropist, Montañez has served on the board of the Women’s Funding Network, Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights, and Women and Philanthropy (founding member of the Women of Color Working Group). Presently, she is the co-chair of Philanthropy New York’s Funders of Women and Girls Steering Committee and has participated in its Young Leaders Breakfast Club Program as a mentor for younger philanthropic professionals. Montañez attended Antioch University in San Francisco for Health Services Administration, has a Certificate from Institute for Non-for-Profit Management, Columbia Business School – Executive Program and is a Rockwood Yearlong Fellow.  Her honors include: the California Public Health Association’s Community Leadership Award, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Latina Empowerment Award, and the New York Women’s Foundation Helen Hunt Neighborhood Leadership Award.  Her professional and personal experience as a Latina involved in the women’s and reproductive rights movements  - locally and nationally – for over forty years provides a unique and broad perspective necessary to strengthen funder and grantee efforts and effectiveness in social justice activism.  Wilma is a native New Yorker and  has a daughter who is a film scholar in Los Angeles, Dr. Maya Montañez Smukler.

Emily Kessler


Emily is the Senior Advisor at Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), having served as the Interim Executive Director for much of 2015. She previously consulted with EPIP for two years on matters ranging from programming to communications. She is also a strategist and coach for nonprofit and grant making organizations, working to build their capacities, including leadership and talent development. Emily is the former Executive Director of the Joukowsky Family Foundation in New York City where for 15 years she managed a variety of grantmaking programs and was instrumental in securing funding for educational initiatives. Emily also previously served as Co-Director of the NYC Venture Philanthropy Fund, a giving circle focused on supporting emerging social initiatives.

Emily is a current student at Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, pursuing a M.S. in Organizational Change Management. She holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute and a B.A. in Modern European Studies from Connecticut College. She grew up in New York and New Jersey, and lived briefly overseas where she attended the University of Paris.

Neha Raval

Neha_photo.jpgNeha Raval has significant experience working alongside community-based organizations that empower women, children and youth. Currently, she is a Program Officer at The New York Women’s Foundation, where she manages a portfolio of partners working on anti-trafficking, sexual health and reproductive rights, and anti-violence. Prior to this, she was the Knowledge Management and Grantmaking Officer at The Global Fund for Children, where she managed learning tools and organizational knowledge, and developed capacity building initiatives for grassroots organizations in over 60 countries.

Neha has consulted with Search for Common Ground in partnership with the Liberian Ministry of Youth and Sports on a mixed-methods research project measuring youth engagement. Additionally, Neha served as a community development volunteer with the Peace Corps in Moldova, where she advised a national NGO resource center and co-directed a girls’ leadership program. Neha received a master’s degree from the School of International Service at American University, a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and gender studies from Rutgers University. She is fluent in Russian and Gujarati.

March 22, 2016 at 8:15am - 10:30am Eastern Time (US & Canada)
The Wallace Foundation
5 Penn Plz
7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
United States
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