You can always count on Jean Shafiroff’s luncheon for the New York Women’s Foundation to move swiftly from sipping to symposium. These powerhouse women don’t waste time. Forty minutes after the first well-heeled pump had clicked up the stairs to the private room at Le Cirque, Moderator Melissa Lee, CNBC Host of “Fast Money” and “Options Action,” was introducing Foundation President and CEO Ana Oliveira. This charity isn’t about simply giving, it’s about giving women the tools to support themselves. And its luncheons are about giving women who are able the tools to support the charities they choose.
Towards that end, former Board Chair Diana Taylor and current Board Chair Anne Delaney talked about the importance of finding a mission that inspires your passion. That usually ensures you’ll get along with the other board members and, most importantly, be comfortable asking your Rolodex (Remember the days when phone numbers were actually stored on paper cards?) for money.
“I’m a banker by training so I’m all about financial services and giving people access to the capital markets,” said Taylor. “The idea that there was an organization of women for women making sure that women in this city, which I love and have lived in ever since I graduated from college, was really, really a compelling mission.”
“A women’s organization comes together acknowledging that there is discrimination for women,” Delaney added. “There’s poverty. It’s painful to see the problems that still affect women…We all came together knowing there are complicated issues that we were trying to help solve.”
After hosting this Foundation luncheon for four years, Shafiroff joined the board a year ago. “It’s a great gift to be able to give back,” Shafiroff told us. “Both time and resources are vitally important. If we can help to make the lives of our fellow citizens better, we should. And when you help a women to get a job, you’re helping her entire family.”
The luncheon leads up to the NYWF benefit, November 14, 2013, at the Starlight Roof of The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, honoring Carolina Herrera, Morgan Stanley, with the award being accepted by Ruth Porat, Morgan Stanley’s Chief Financial Officer, and the Ford Foundation, with the award being accepted by Darren Walker, the Ford Foundation’s President.