Building a feminist social impact sector

What if the international social impact sector underwent a feminist transformation?

The international social sector is made up of thousands of organisations, individuals and resources dedicated towards building a better world – and it has enormous potential to fulfil this goal.

But for too long, our sector hasn’t been living up to values it purports to hold, operating in ways that undermine equity, inclusion and civic participation. Structural gender inequity is one key part of the needed change.

our vision

We envision a social impact sector that models equity, inclusion and representation in its own structures and culture.

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We envision a social impact sector that models equity, inclusion and representation in its own structures and culture. 

We want to see women – in all their diversity – represented and meaningfully included in leadership

We want to see the sector embrace a feminist approach to leadership, collaboration and organisational change.

our mission

We aim to spark and sustain a feminist transformation of the international social impact sector.

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There is a growing movement pushing the sector to walk the talk and align its external goals with its internal structures. FAIR SHARE will accelerate that movement by playing the roles of a critical friend, a facilitator, a visionary and a role model.

We saw a need for change…

In the wake of the safeguarding crisis in 2018, it became clearer than ever that the sector had deep-rooted power imbalances that urgently needed to be addressed. A group of feminist leaders from the sector – who would become our co-founders – got together to brainstorm how they could contribute to that transformation.

The sector has not being held accountable for gender equity.

The idea for FAIR SHARE was born when our co-founders realised that there was no continuous data on women in leadership in the sector.

Our first project was therefore the FAIR SHARE Monitor in 2019, a data-based tool to track and publish the proportion of women leaders in the sector.

While there are other initiatives tracking other metrics, such as the Racial Equity Index, or gender equity in other sectors, like Women in Global Health, or looking at specific countries, we currently are the only organisation looking specifically at gender equity in our sector at large.


There is unharnessed potential in the global community of Feminist Leaders.

To complement our monitoring work, we began exploring Feminist Leadership as a framework for transforming leadership and organisational culture.

While many are already working to provide resources on this topic, the demand for learning opportunities on Feminist Leadership exceeds the offers.

In particular, many people we encounter are searching for a peer community of support and inspiration. Given the space to regularly connect and collaborate, their enormous potential to shift power in the sector could be unleashed.

The FAIR SHARE Monitor is pathbreaking in measuring the performance of civil society organisations in advancing women’s leadership in the very sector that advocates gender equity for the rest of the world. I expect it will soon be a globally respected, and cited, measure.

 Srilatha Batliwala, CREA

… and explored productive tensions

Our work is inherently complex, because we are convinced that we need more women leaders – AND new ways to lead. These first years of our work revealed challenging yet productive tensions in our work, which we will not shy away from, but rather continue exploring.

Quantitative data VS. complexity of cultural change

The Monitor focuses on the proportion of women leaders as a metric of change. How can we leverage this data strategically, knowing that numbers never tell the full story?

And how can monitoring the representation of women leaders complement instead of contradict the aim to have Feminist Leaders of all genders and at all levels of an organisation?

Desire for tangible tools VS. self-reflection and exploration

We are often asked for concrete tools and resources that can be used to change culture and structures. Yet, Feminist Leadership approaches resists a one-size-fits-all approach, inviting individuals and organisations to carry out critical self-reflection and contextual analysis.

How can we leverage the potential of Feminist Leadership as a tool for change in a world longing for concrete guidance and indicators?

Empowering individuals VS. structural change

We are working closely with a growing community of dedicated individuals, but organisations are complex and often change-resistant systems.

How can we best support individual change agents as they try to push for more feminist approaches in their organisations – so that our work can contribute to systemic and structural change in the sector?

Global impact VS. leveraging local power

FAIR SHARE aims to address and change the international social impact sector, yet our work in Germany, where we are based, has so far received more attention and funding.
How do we embrace the opportunities for impact on the national level, without losing sight of our international scope and ambitions?

FAIR SHARE hosts some of the most interesting and meaningful conversations I have participated in on the topics of gender equality and leadership in the international social sector. They bring intense curiosity to each engagement, create safe spaces to share ideas and ask questions, and facilitate discussions with thoughtfulness and care.

Traci L. Baird, President and CEO Engender Health

…leading us to the roles we aim to play

As we expand our existing projects and envision new ones, operating within the following roles will support us to create, pursue and prioritise what is needed to deliver our goals. 

We will be critical friends

We believe that

transparency and accountability around the representation of women leaders is crucial to make power structures visible and ensure that they are changing.

So we will

develop the Monitor into a comprehensive tool for tracking and advocating for intersectional gender equity in the sector’s leadership

Leading to

a sector-wide culture of accountability to address structural inequities

Our next step towards this goal will be

developing an intersectional data strategy and model for the FAIR SHARE Monitor through a community-driven process.

We will be visionaries

We believe that

the needed change goes beyond representation in leadership; our understanding and practice of leadership itself needs to shift and expand

So we will

create spaces and resources for people to learn about Feminist Leadership, building a community of Feminist Leaders and leveraging its potential for change 

Leading to

feminist approaches to how organisations are structured, run and governed becoming increasingly widespread

Our next step towards this goal will be

implementing the pilot phase of our envisioned virtual and participatory learning community for people curious about or already practising Feminist Leadership

We will be facilitators

We believe that

the challenges of inequity in the sector should be addressed together rather than by each organisation individually

So we will

grow and strengthen a community of organisations working towards gender equity and exploring Feminist Leadership

Leading to

innovative strategies, mechanisms and cross-organisational projects contributing to a sector-wide transformation

Our next step towards this goal will be

turning our pilot programmes, trainings and community formats such as the Women Leadership Lab, into international, cross-organisational offerings.

We will be role models

We believe that

FAIR SHARE should lead by example and model the feminist change we are advocating for in the sector

So we will

develop and test feminist approaches to HR policies, team structures, and other areas of organisational development and share our reflections

Leading to

further credibility, support for and trust in our work and resources for the sector

Our next step towards this goal will be

designing and testing a Feminist Governance model for the next phase of our organisation, including co-leadership.

The work and initiatives of FAIR SHARE in the promotion of feminist principles are crucial in achieving the gender equality goal and I am very honoured to be a part of their journey.

Pema Wangmo Lama, indigenous youth activist

…while we continue our Feminist Leadership journey.

As a feminist organisation, we believe the means are as important as the ends. Put another way, how we do things matters. As we work towards our goals, we will let our core principles shape the process and guide the journey. 


As we hold the sector accountable for intersectional gender equity, we also aim to be transparent about our goals, methods and limitations. We do not see ourselves as immune to the power dynamics we aim to make visible. We therefore will continuously look ourselves in the mirror as well as welcome critical questions and feedback from peers and partners.



We are unafraid to rock the boat and cause productive discomfort to challenge the status quo in the sector. We will take the path less travelled and accept that we may sometimes fail or make mistakes; those experiences will strengthen us going forward.



We recognise and embrace the fact that we are in a continuous learning journey, and actively seek out a diversity of perspectives to inform and shape our work. We don’t shy away from complexity or the opportunity to learn from others and change our mind, and we commit to actively unlearning oppressive beliefs and practices.

Luckily, we are not in this alone – everything we do is in dialogue with others, and we are always seeking new collaborators and allies.

Funders and partners

Committed Organisations

Together, we can

achieve intersectional gender equity in leadership.

make Feminist Leadership become the new normal.


transform the sector towards a true embodiment of its values and goals.

Will you join us?