Women In The Sector: A Reminder of Why I Work in Nonprofit

Philip Manzano • Mar 09, 2017

A time to reflect with Jill Oba The post Women in the Sector: A Reminder of Why I Work in Nonprofit appeared first on Keela.

Today is  International Women’s Day. I am very proud to be surrounded by a room filled with talented, bright, innovative and resourceful women today, being at the Design Exchange (DX). This was not always the case working in the Nonprofit Sector.

Before DX, I worked for a consulting agency that worked exclusively with nonprofit charities, as a Business Development Consultant. I was challenged everyday being (more often than not) the only woman in a room, when consulting on nonprofit technology best practices, and fundraising strategies. Speaking with C-level executives was intimidating, especially when speaking with predominantly-male leadership. Thankfully, I had a (female) mentor who coached me through out my time at this agency.

“On my way here, I had to sit at the table with many men, and yes, it was terrifying at the time.”

It is an exciting time to be working the nonprofit and technology space, especially when you see the masses stand in solidarity – whether in peaceful protest or through mass giving. On January 21, 2017, I participated in Toronto’s Women’s March, to stand in solidarity with the women south of the border, who’s rights were threatened. Surrounded by a sea of women with their partners, families and friends was powerful.

It reminded me why I work in the sector. 

In a female-dominated sector, I hope to see fair representation of female leaders to men. I am now lucky to work with many women, and have an inspiring and strong female President. However on my way here, I had to sit at the table with many men, and yes, it was terrifying at times.

My advice to those who are thinking about joining, or those who are already working in the sector is simple: continue networking, find a mentor in your desired field, and always keep an open dialogue about women in the workplace.


Jill Oba

Jill is the Development Manager for EDIT: Expo for Design, Innovation and Technology at the Design Exchange, Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the pursuit of design excellence and preservation of design heritage. Her past experience includes roles within the Nonprofit sector and Nonprofit Technology space, specializing in Business Development and Special Events.